Izumi Seimitsu Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha v. U.S. Philips Corp.,
510 U.S. 27 (1993)

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No. 92-1123. Argued October 12, 1993-Decided November 30,1993

Petitioner Izumi Seimitsu Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha was a party at the first trial in an action brought against it and respondent Windmere Corporation by respondent U. S. Philips Corporation, but was not a party to the second trial, in which Windmere prevailed. While the judgments from the second trial were on appeal, respondents reached a settlement and filed a joint motion to vacate the District Court's judgments. Izumi's motion to intervene in the appeal for purposes of opposing vacatur was denied by the Court of Appeals on the ground that Izumi was not a party to the action, and the court went on to find that vacatur was appropriate.

Held: The writ of certiorari is dismissed as improvidently granted. The single question Izumi presented to this Court for review is whether the courts of appeals should routinely vacate district court final judgments at the parties' request when cases are settled on appeal. However, in order to reach this question, the Court would have to address a question not raised by Izumi until its brief on the merits: whether the Court of Appeals improperly denied Izumi's motion to intervene. Since the latter question was neither presented in the petition for certiorari nor fairly included in the question that was presented, as required by this Court's Rule 14.1, it can be considered only if the Court deems this to be an exceptional case. The case bears scant resemblance to those cases in which the Court has made exceptions to the Rule's provisions, for it is unlikely that any new principle of law would be enunciated should review be undertaken. Moreover, faithful application of the Rule helps ensure that the Court is not tempted to engage in ill-considered decisions of relatively factbound issues not presented in the petition in order to reach the question on which certiorari was actually granted. It also informs those seeking review that the Court strongly disapproves the practice of smuggling additional questions into a case after certiorari is granted.

Certiorari dismissed. Reported below: 971 F.2d 728.


Per Curiam

Herbert H. Mintz argued the cause for petitioner. With him on the briefs were Robert D. Litowitz, Jean Burke Fordis, David S. Forman, and William L. Androlia.

Garrard R. Beeney argued the cause for respondents.

With him on the brief were William E. Willis, John L. Hardiman, Sheldon Karon, and Paul M. Dodyk.

Thomas G. Hungar argued the cause for the United States as amicus curiae urging affirmance. With him on the brief were Acting Solicitor General Bryson, Acting Assistant Attorney General Schiffer, Acting Deputy Solicitor General Kneedler, Leonard Schaitman, and John P. Schnitker. *


In order to reach the merits of this case, we would have to address a question that was neither presented in the petition for certiorari nor fairly included in the one question that was presented. Because we will consider questions not raised in the petition only in the most exceptional cases, and because we conclude this is not such a case, we dismiss the writ of certiorari as improvidently granted.

Petitioner was named as a defendant, along with respondent Windmere Corporation, in an action brought by respondent U. S. Philips Corporation in the District Court for the Southern District of Florida claiming that the defendants had infringed Philips' patent rights and engaged in unfair trade competition. Windmere counterclaimed for antitrust violations. At the first trial of the action, judgment was entered on a jury verdict for Philips on its patent infringement claim, and neither Izumi nor Windmere appealed. Philips also prevailed on Windmere's antitrust counterclaim, and the District Court ordered a new trial on the unfair competition

*Briefs of amici curiae urging reversal were filed for Sears Roebuck & Co. by Roger D. Greer and Kara F. Cenar; and for Trial Lawyers for Public Justice by Jill E. Fisch and Arthur H. Bryant.

Jay M. Smyser filed a brief for the Product Liability Advisory Council, Inc., as amicus curiae urging affirmance.

Full Text of Opinion

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