United States v. Scophony Corp.
333 U.S. 795 (1948)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Scophony Corp., 333 U.S. 795 (1948)

United States v. Scophony Corporation of America

No. 41

Argued January 12-13, 1948

Decided April 26, 1948

333 U.S. 795

Syllabus

A British corporation with its principal place of business in London engaged in the Southern District of New York in various but continuing efforts to conserve and exploit its television inventions and patents. This was done through a series of complex contractual arrangements made with certain American corporations, and involved the British company's constant intervention and supervision. The company was represented in the New York district by two of its directors, one of whom held a comprehensive power of attorney to protect its interests in the United States.

Held: the company was "transacting business" and was "found" in the Southern District of New York, within the meaning of § 12 of the Clayton Act, so that it could be sued and served there in a civil proceeding charging violations of §§ 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act. Pp. 333 U. S. 796-818.

(a) The venue provision of § 12 of the Clayton Act permitting suit in any district wherein a corporation "transacts business" is met by the carrying on of business "of any substantial character." Practical, nontechnical business or commercial standards are to be applied in determining whether the requirement is satisfied. P. 333 U. S. 810.

(b) Section 12 of the Clayton Act is not to be construed in a manner to bring back the obstacles to enforcement of antitrust policies and remedies which it was enacted to eliminate. In this case, the determination whether the British corporation was "found" within the Southern District of New York so that it could be served there is not to be made by atomizing the enterprise into minute parts or events, in disregard of the unity and continuity of the whole course of conduct. P. 333 U. S. 817.

69 F.Supp. 666 reversed.

In a civil proceeding brought in the Southern District of New York under § 12 of the Clayton Act and charging violations of §§ 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act, the District

Page 333 U. S. 796

Court quashed service of process and dismissed the complaint as to a British corporation having its principal place of business in London. 69 F.Supp. 666. On direct appeal to this Court, reversed and remanded, p. 333 U. S. 818.

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