Lisle Mills v. Arkay Infants Wear

Decision Date04 April 1950
Docket NumberCiv. 9580.
Citation90 F. Supp. 676
PartiesLISLE MILLS, Inc. v. ARKAY INFANTS WEAR, Inc. et al.
CourtU.S. District Court — Eastern District of New York

Lackenbach & Hirschman, New York City, for plaintiff (Armand E. Lackenbach, New York City, of counsel).

Harry Price, New York City, for defendants.

KENNEDY, District Judge.

Plaintiff moves for an order (1) to strike a jury demand filed by the defendant Arkay Infants Wear, Inc. (Arkay), (2) to strike various paragraphs of defendants' answer and counterclaim, and (3) for summary judgment in plaintiff's favor. Defendant Arkay moves to dismiss the complaint on the ground that plaintiff is disabled to sue because, while doing business in the state of New York, it has not complied with General Corporation Law of New York, Consol.Laws, c. 23, Sections 210, 218, to the effect that a foreign corporation may not do business in the state without first obtaining a certificate of authority. In connection with the same motion defendants move for security for costs. Lisle Mills, Inc. is a Pennsylvania corporation; both defendants are New York corporations.

The defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint should, I think, be dealt with at the outset. Prior to the decision in Erie R. Co. v. Tompkins, 1938, 304 U.S. 64, 58 S.Ct. 817, 82 L.Ed. 1188, 114 A.L.R. 1487, it was undoubtedly the law that a state statute, which denied access to its courts by foreign corporations doing business without a certificate, had no effect on federal court jurisdiction even under diversity of citizenship. David Lupton's Sons Co. v. Automobile Club, 1912, 225 U.S. 489, 32 S.Ct. 711, 56 L.Ed. 1177, Ann.Cas.1914A, 699. However, the view of diversity jurisdiction established by the Tompkins case changed this concept, Angel v. Bullington, 1947, 330 U.S. 183, 67 S.Ct. 657, 91 L.Ed. 832; Woods v. Interstate Realty Co., 1949, 337 U.S. 535, 69 S.Ct. 1235, 93 L.Ed. 1524. But the case at bar is one where the plaintiff seeks a judgment declaring that certain letters patent owned by the defendants are invalid and void, or, if valid, are not infringed. (The plaintiff asks for equitable relief.) Hence, even though diversity of citizenship is shown, a scrutiny of the complaint alone reveals that the case also involves federal questions. On the latter branch of the case, therefore, the controversy is outside the diversity jurisdiction and no power, I should think, resides in the legislature of the state in such a case to close not only its own courts but also the federal courts to a suitor who, it may be assumed, is doing business in the state without authority. I have not been able to find any controlling precedent, but any other result would be inconsistent with Guaranty Trust Co. of New York v. York, 1945, 326 U.S. 99, 65 S.Ct. 1464, 89 L.Ed. 2079, 160 A.L.R. 1231 since the main right invoked by plaintiff is federal, not state-created.1

I turn now to the motions on the part of the plaintiff.

Paragraph 7 of the answer alleges that the suit is not brought by the real party in interest, and that the proper venue is not in this district but in the Southern District of New York. Plaintiff's motion to strike this paragraph is based upon prior proceedings in this court in the same suit, notably an order by Judge Galston entered on June 27, 1949. I have examined those papers and it is clear that heretofore defendants sought to take advantage by motion of the defense of improper venue (Rule 12 (b), Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 28 U.S.C.A.) and that Judge Galston overruled that defense. Judge Galston's decision becomes the law of the case, and even if it be erroneous, which I do not for one moment suggest, defendants have not waived their objection to venue and have preserved whatever rights they may have. Since the relevant rule R. R. C. P. rule 12(b) speaks of an option between raising such questions by motion or by pleading, it is clear that defendants ought not be permitted to use both procedures, and thus inject matter into the trial which has been set at rest by an adverse decision, conclusive on the trial court.

Another branch of plaintiff's motion is directed against the counterclaim pleaded by defendant Arkay. There was needless controversy between the parties concerning whether plaintiff's motion was merely to strike certain references in the counterclaim to a defendant as yet unserved or whether, on the other hand, plaintiff's motion was intended as an attack against the paragraphs as a whole. I shall place the latter and broader construction on the motion. So construed, that branch of the motion differs very little from an additional branch under which plaintiff seeks summary judgment. The contention of plaintiff is that there is no substantial issue concerning validity or infringement and that it should have summary judgment. It also asserts that the counterclaim, which is for unfair competition, does not stand in the way, because the court can determine on affidavits and the patents themselves that defendants are entitled to no relief on the ground of unfair competition. Here plaintiff's point is that defendants' patent is void for want of invention to the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
9 cases
  • Pacific-Atlantic Steamship Company v. United States
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Delaware
    • January 3, 1955
    ...Justice Miller sitting as Circuit Justice; Higgins v. Shenango Pottery Co., D.C. W.D.Pa., 99 F.Supp. 522, 526; Lisle Mills v. Arkay Infants Wear, D.C.S.D.N.Y., 90 F.Supp. 676; Sbarbaro v. United States, D.C.E.D.Pa., 86 F.Supp. 477; McArthur v. Rosenbaum Co. of Pittsburgh, D.C. W.D.Pa., 85 F......
  • Lyon v. Quality Courts United
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Sixth Circuit
    • November 26, 1957
    ...right created by Congress, then any limitations which Ohio imposes on its courts would be irrelevant. Lisle Mills v. Arkay Infants Wear, D.C.E.D.N.Y. 1950, 90 F.Supp. 676; see Holmberg v. Armbrecht, 1946, 327 U.S. 392, 66 S.Ct. 582, 90 L.Ed. 743. The plaintiff's complaint, although alleging......
  • United States v. Malan Construction Corporation
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Tennessee
    • November 28, 1958
    ...right created by Congress, then any limitations which Ohio imposes on its courts would be irrelevant. Lisle Mills v. Arkay Infants Wear, D.C.E.D.N.Y. 1950, 90 F.Supp. 676; see Holmberg v. Armbrecht, 1946, 327 U.S. 392, 66 S.Ct. 582, 90 L.Ed. 743. The plaintiff's complaint, although alleging......
  • Hightower v. Bigoney, 32209
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • September 25, 1963
    ...disposed of them in equity for the reasons so stated. See also Black v. Boyd, 6 Cir., 1957, 248 F.2d 156, and Lisle Mills v. Arkay Infant Wear, D.C.N.Y., 1950, 90 F.Supp. 676. We quote the pertinent language of the court in the Mills case because it is so applicable to the case at '* * * Th......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT