Tuesday, July 3, 2018

E-commerce, Restore Online Shoppers' Confidence Act


E-commerce: Consumer protection: Competition: Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (ROSCA): Continuity plans: Negative Options: Injunction: FTC:

Time for a ROSCA recap: FTC says “risk free trial” was risky – and not free
By: Lesley Fair | Jul 3, 2018
FTC
Republication

Like the three sides of a triangle, ROSCA – the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act – has three basic compliance requirements for online sellers who enroll consumers in continuity plans, often known as negative options. The law bans online negative options unless the seller: 1) clearly discloses all material terms of the deal before obtaining a consumer’s billing information; 2) gets the consumer’s express informed consent before making the charge; and 3) provides a simple mechanism for stopping recurring charges.
A federal district court has granted the Federal Trade Commission’s request to stop a group of San Diego-based Internet marketers from deceptively advertising free trial offers and not only charging consumers full-price for the trial product, but also enrolling them in expensive, ongoing continuity plans without their knowledge or consent. The court order announced today temporarily halts the operation, freezes its assets, and appoints a temporary receiver over the business.


The complaint for permanent injunction and other equitable relief:
The counts:
Count 1: Misrepresentations of the price of the trial offers
Count 2: Misrepresentation that order is not complete
Count 3: Failure to disclose adequately material terms of trial offer
Count 4: Unfairly charging consumers without authorization
Count 5: Violations of ROSCA – Auto-renewal continuity plan, violations of the Electronic Fund transfer Act and Regulation E
Count 6: Unauthorized debiting from Consumers’ accounts

Friday, June 29, 2018

Pinkette Clothing, Inc. v. Cosmetic Warriors Ltd., Docket No. 17-55325


Trademark infringement: Copyright infringement: Patent infringement: Laches: Statute of limitations: Constructive notice:

The Lanham Act recognizes laches as a defense to a petition for cancellation of a trademark registration. 15 U.S.C. § 1069. Although such a petition may be filed “at any time,” § 1064 limits the grounds for cancellation after five years have passed from the date of registration—i.e., after the mark becomes incontestable. Id. § 1064. Relying on Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 1962 (2014), and SCA Hygiene Products v. First Quality Baby Products, LLC, 137 S. Ct. 954 (2017), CWL argues that laches cannot bar a cancellation claim if it is brought within the five-year period specified in § 1064.
We write principally to address what effect, if any, Petrella and SCA Hygiene had on applying laches to a trademark cancellation claim. In Petrella, the Supreme Court held that laches could not bar a copyright infringement claim brought within the Copyright Act’s three-year statute of limitations. 134 S. Ct. at 1967. And in SCA Hygiene, the Court held that laches could not bar a patent infringement claim brought within the Patent Act’s six-year statute of limitations. 137 S. Ct. at 959. We conclude that the principle at work in these cases—a concern over laches overriding a statute of limitations—does not apply here, where the Lanham Act has no statute of limitations and expressly makes laches a defense to cancellation.
(…) There was no opposition to Pinkette’s application, and Pinkette’s LUSH mark was registered in July 2010, thereby putting CWL on constructive notice of Pinkette’s claim to ownership. See 15 U.S.C. § 1072 (“Registration of a mark on the principal register . . . shall be constructive notice of the registrant’s claim of ownership thereof.”).
It was not until June 2015—approximately four years and eleven months after Pinkette’s registration issued—that CWL finally filed a petition with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) to cancel Pinkette’s registration.
After CWL filed its cancellation petition, Pinkette filed this action in federal court, seeking a declaratory judgment that it did not infringe on CWL’s trademark rights, or alternatively that laches bars CWL from asserting its rights against Pinkette. CWL counterclaimed for trademark infringement and cancellation of Pinkette’s registration, among other claims. On the parties’ joint motion, proceedings before the TTAB were stayed pending resolution of this case.

Laches :
“We analyze the laches defense with a two-step process.” La Quinta Worldwide LLC v. Q.R.T.M., S.A. de C.V., 762 F.3d 867, 878 (9th Cir. 2014). First, we assess the plaintiff’s delay by looking to whether the most analogous state statute of limitations has expired. Id. If the most analogous state statute of limitations expired before suit was filed, there is a strong presumption in favor of laches. Id. That presumption is reversed, however, if the most analogous state statute of limitations expired after suit was filed. Id.
Second, we assess the equity of applying laches using the E-Systems factors: (1) “strength and value of trademark rights asserted;” (2) “plaintiff’s diligence in enforcing mark;” (3) “harm to senior user if relief denied;” (4) “good faith ignorance by junior user;” (5) “competition between senior and junior users;” and (6) “extent of harm suffered by junior user because of senior user’s delay.” E-Sys., Inc. v. Monitek, Inc., 720 F.2d 604, 607 (9th Cir. 1983). We review a district court’s application of laches for abuse of discretion. In re Beaty, 306 F.3d 914, 921 (9th Cir. 2002).
The most analogous state statute of limitations in this case is California’s four-year statute of limitations for trademark infringement actions. See Internet Specialties W., Inc. v. Milon-DiGiorgio Enters., Inc., 559 F.3d 985, 990 n.2 (9th Cir. 2009).
(…) The district court did not abuse its discretion in declining to apply the doctrine of unclean hands.
(…) The inevitable confusion doctrine is inapplicable.

(U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, June 29, 2018, Pinkette Clothing, Inc. v. Cosmetic Warriors Ltd., Docket No. 17-55325, Judge Bybee)

Droit des marques, utilisation par un tiers, risque de confusion, action en annulation de l’enregistrement d’une marque, défense fondée sur la tardiveté à agir (« laches »), délai.
Dans le cadre d’une action en annulation de l’enregistrement d’une marque, le Lanham Act prévoit que la tardiveté à agir peut être invoquée par le défendeur. Cette action peut être ouverte à n’importe quel moment, mais 15 U.S.C. § 1064 limite les motifs d’annulation après un délai de cinq ans dès l’enregistrement. Après ce délai, la marque est qualifiée d’ « incontestable ».
En l’espèce, la partie demanderesse soutient que la doctrine de la tardiveté à agir ne peut pas être efficacement opposée à une action en annulation déposée avant l’expiration du délai de cinq ans précité. A tort, juge ici le 9è Circuit.
En effet, la Cour Suprême fédérale a jugé dans sa décision Petrella qu’une action en violation d’un copyright, déposée dans le délai légal de trois ans, ne pouvait pas être barrée par la défense de la tardiveté à agir. Et dans sa décision SCA Hygiene, la même Cour Suprême a jugé qu’une action en violation d’un brevet d’invention, déposée dans le délai légal de six ans, ne pouvait pas échouer par l’invocation de la défense de la tardiveté à agir. Ces deux décisions visent à empêcher que la doctrine de la tardiveté à agir ne chevauche des délais légaux. Or, en l’espèce, le Lanham Act ne fixe aucun délai (légal) au dépôt de l’action en annulation de l’enregistrement d’une marque. Le délai de cinq ans précité (15 U.S.C. § 1064) n’est pas un délai légal au sens strict.
(…) L’enregistrement d’une marque entraine « constructive notice », erga omnes, de la revendication de titularité de la marque (cf. 15 U.S.C. § 1072).
(…) En l’espèce, ce n’est que quatre ans et onze mois après l’enregistrement que la demanderesse a ouvert action devant le « Trademark Trial and Appeal Board » (TTAB). Puis la défenderesse a ouvert action en constatation devant la cour fédérale, concluant à ce qu’il plaise à la cour de dire et déclarer qu’elle n’avait pas porté atteinte au droit des marques, subsidiairement de juger que la doctrine de la tardiveté à agir barrait les allégations de la demanderesse. La procédure devant le TTAB a été suspendue d’un commun accord.
Suit une description de la théorie de la tardiveté à agir (« laches ») : ce moyen de défense suppose une analyse en deux temps : tout d’abord, le délai pendant lequel le demandeur aurait pu agir est comparé au délai légal prévu par la loi étatique qui se rapproche le plus de la difficulté à juger. Si l’action a été ouverte après une durée de temps supérieur au délai légal, la tardiveté à agir sera fortement présumée. Ensuite et enfin est évalué le caractère équitable ou non d’une application de la théorie de la tardiveté à agir. Les critères d’évaluation du caractère équitable sont la force des droits des marques invoqués, la diligence avec laquelle le demandeur a défendu sa marque, le dommage causé à l’usager antérieur si ses conclusions sont rejetées, l’ignorance de bonne foi par l’usager postérieur, les rapports de concurrence entre les usagers antérieur et postérieur, et l’étendue du dommage causé à l’usager postérieur du fait de la tardiveté à agir.

Monday, June 25, 2018

16 CFR Parts 801-803, Amendments to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Premerger Notification Rules

The Federal Trade Commission, with the concurrence of the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, has approved amendments to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Premerger Notification Rules and to the instructions for filling out the form that companies use to report a proposed merger, acquisition, or similar transaction under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.
The Premerger Notification and Report Form (known also as the HSR Form) is designed to provide the FTC and the Antitrust Division of DOJ with the necessary information for an initial evaluation of the potential anticompetitive impact of proposed transactions.
The amendments simplify and clarify some language used in the Rules and the instructions, and they allow for the use of email in certain circumstances, such as in granting early termination. A notice in the Federal Register provides more information:

https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/federal_register_notices/2018/06/p859910_commission_fr_notice_amending_hsr_rules_and_attachment.pdf


https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2018/06/ftc-doj-approve-procedural-changes-hsr-form

Premerger Notification, Early terminations

An important aspect of the FTC’s Premerger Notification Program is the granting of early terminations. Any person filing an HSR form may request that the waiting period be terminated before the statutory waiting period expires, allowing the parties to consummate their deal. Such a request for “early termination” (ET) is granted only if both the FTC and Department of Justice Antitrust Division complete their review and determine not to take any enforcement action during the waiting period.
The FTC publishes an online notification of early terminations that have been granted, which is updated almost every weekday.
In some instances, after an investigation involving a Request for Additional Information and Documentary Material (Second Request) has been issued, the investigating agency will determine that no further action is necessary and terminate the waiting period before full compliance with the Second Request is made. A grant of ET may also be made after the parties agree to a consent order with the investigating Agency, whether or not there was Second Request compliance.
The list of transactions that have been granted early termination is only a subset of the transactions filed each year. Generally, the fact that a filing has been made is confidential by statute. Only if one (or both) of the parties to the transaction has requested ET, and that request has been granted, will notice be made. If neither party requests early termination, or the request is not granted, the fact that a filing has been made will remain confidential.

FTC launches first Web API to make Early Terminations more accessible




Wednesday, June 20, 2018

EU Commission implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/886 of 20 June 2018


COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) 2018/886 of 20 June 2018

on certain commercial policy measures concerning certain products originating in the United States of America and amending Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/724

The Union shall apply additional customs duties on imports into the Union of the products listed in Annex I and Annex II to this Regulation and originating in the United States of America



Règlement d'exécution (UE) 2018/886 de la Commission du 20 juin 2018 concernant certaines mesures de politique commerciale visant certains produits originaires des États-Unis d'Amérique, et modifiant le règlement d'exécution (UE) 2018/724

L'Union applique des droits de douane additionnels sur les importations dans l'Union des produits énumérés à l'annexe I et à l'annexe II du présent règlement et originaires des États-Unis d'Amérique


Thursday, June 14, 2018

Animal Science Products, Inc. v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co., Docket No. 16-1220


Conflict of laws: Foreign law: Antitrust: Export: Act of state doctrine: Foreign sovereign compulsion doctrine: Comity (international): Common law:

When foreign law is relevant to a case instituted in a federal court, and the foreign government whose law is in contention submits an official statement on the meaning and interpretation of its domestic law, may the federal court look beyond that official statement? The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit answered generally “no,” ruling that federal courts are “bound to defer” to a foreign government’s construction of its own law, whenever that construction is “reasonable.” In re Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation, 837 F. 3d 175, 189 (2016).
We hold otherwise. A federal court should accord respectful consideration to a foreign government’s submission, but is not bound to accord conclusive effect to the foreign government’s statements. Instead, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 44.1 instructs that, in determining foreign law, “the court may consider any relevant material or source . . . whether or not submitted by a party.” As “the court’s determination must be treated as a ruling on a question of law,” Fed. Rule Civ. Proc. 44.1, the court “may engage in its own research and consider any relevant material thus found,” Advisory Committee’s 1966 Note on Fed. Rule Civ. Proc. 44.1, 28 U. S. C. App., p. 892. Because the Second Circuit ordered dismissal of this case on the ground that the foreign government’s statements could not be gainsaid, we vacate that court’s judgment and remand the case for further consideration.
Petitioners, U. S.-based purchasers of vitamin C, filed a class-action suit against four Chinese corporations that manufacture and export the nutrient. The U. S. purchasers alleged that the Chinese sellers, two of whom are respondents here, had agreed to fix the price and quantity of vitamin C exported to the United States from China, in violation of §1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U. S. C. §1. More particularly, the U. S. purchasers stated that the Chinese sellers had formed a cartel “facilitated by the efforts of their trade association,” the Chamber of Commerce of Medicines and Health Products Importers and Exporters. Complaint in No. 1:05–CV–453, Docket No. 1, ¶43. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated the instant case and related suits for pretrial proceedings in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
The Chinese sellers moved to dismiss the U. S. purchasers’ complaint on the ground that Chinese law required them to fix the price and quantity of vitamin C exports. Therefore, the Chinese sellers urged, they are shielded from liability under U. S. antitrust law by the act of state doctrine, the foreign sovereign compulsion doctrine, and principles of international comity.
At common law, the content of foreign law relevant to a dispute was treated “as a question of fact.” Miller, Federal Rule 44.1 and the “Fact” Approach to Determining Foreign Law: Death Knell for a Die-Hard Doctrine, 65 Mich. L. Rev. 613, 617–619 (1967). In 1801, this Court endorsed the common-law rule, instructing that “the laws of a foreign nation” must be “proved as facts.” Talbot v. Seeman, 1 Cranch 1, 38 (1801); see, e.g., Church v. Hubbart, 2 Cranch 187, 236 (1804).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 44.1, adopted in 1966, fundamentally changed the mode of determining foreign law in federal courts. The Rule specifies that a court’s determination of foreign law “must be treated as a ruling on a question of law,” rather than as a finding of fact. (…) (Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 26.1 establishes “substantially the same” rule for criminal cases. Advisory Committee’s 1966 Note on Fed. Rule Crim. Proc. 26.1, 18 U. S. C. App., p. 709).
(…) In the spirit of “international comity,” Société Nationale Industrielle Aérospatiale v. United States Dist. Court for Southern Dist. of Iowa, 482 U. S. 522, 543, and n. 27 (1987), a federal court should carefully consider a foreign state’s views about the meaning of its own laws. (…) But the appropriate weight in each case will depend upon the circumstances; a federal court is neither bound to adopt the foreign government’s characterization nor required to ignore other relevant materials. When a foreign government makes conflicting statements, or, as here, offers an account in the context of litigation, there may be cause for caution in evaluating the foreign government’s submission. Given the world’s many and diverse legal systems, and the range of circumstances in which a foreign government’s views may be presented, no single formula or rule will fit all cases in which a foreign government describes its own law. Relevant considerations include the statement’s clarity, thoroughness, and support; its context and purpose; the transparency of the foreign legal system; the role and authority of the entity or official offering the statement; and the statement’s consistency with the foreign government’s past positions.
(…) The Court of Appeals additionally mischaracterized the Ministry’s brief as a “sworn evidentiary proffer.” 837 F. 3d, at 189. In so describing the Ministry’s submission, the Court of Appeals overlooked that a court’s resolution of an issue of foreign law “must be treated as a ruling on a question of law.” Fed. Rule Civ. Proc. 44.1. The Ministry’s brief, while a probative source for resolving the legal question at hand, was not an attestation to facts.
The understanding that a government’s expressed view of its own law is ordinarily entitled to substantial but not conclusive weight is also consistent with two international treaties that establish formal mechanisms by which one government may obtain from another an official statement characterizing its laws. Those treaties specify that “the information given in the reply shall not bind the judicial authority from which the request emanated.” European Convention on Information on Foreign Law, Art. 8, June 7, 1968, 720 U. N. T. S. 154; see Inter-American Convention on Proof of and Information on Foreign Law, Art. 6, May 8, 1979, O. A. S. T. S. 1439 U. N. T. S. 111 (similar). Although the United States is not a party to those treaties, they reflect an international practice inconsistent with the Court of Appeals’ “binding, if reasonable” resolution.

Secondary sources: Miller, Federal Rule 44.1 and the “Fact” Approach to Determining Foreign Law: Death Knell for a Die-Hard Doctrine, 65 Mich. L. Rev. 613, 617–619 (1967); C. Wright & A. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure §2441, p. 324 (3d ed. 2008).

(U.S.S.C., June 14, 2018, Animal Science Products, Inc. v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co., Docket No. 16-1220, J. Ginsburg, unanimous)

En l’espèce, des acheteurs U.S. de vitamine C ont déposé une « class action » contre quatre entreprises chinoises qui la fabrique et l’exporte.
Quand une cour fédérale doit considérer un droit étranger et que le gouvernement étranger émet une déclaration officielle exposant le sens et l’interprétation de ce droit, la cour fédérale se doit de prendre en compte dite déclaration, mais n’est pas tenue de la suivre, en application de la Règle 44.1 de procédure civile fédérale. En pratique, pour déterminer le contenu du droit étranger, la cour peut entreprendre sa propre recherche et s’inspirer de toutes sources utiles.
Les importateurs, demandeurs à l’action de classe, allèguent que les entreprises chinoises venderesses se sont entendues pour fixer les prix de vente et les quantités, en violation de la §1 du Sherman Act (15 U.S.C. §1). Les entreprises défenderesses soutiennent que le droit chinois leur impose de fixer le prix de la vitamine C et les quantités exportées. De la sorte, invoquent-elles, elles seraient protégées par le droit U.S. de l’antitrust, par l’« act of state doctrine », par la « foreign sovereign compulsion doctrine » et par les principes de l’ « international comity ».
Sous le régime de la Common law, la détermination du contenu du droit étranger était traitée comme une question de fait, et non de droit. La Cour a repris sur ce point la Common law par une décision de 1801.
Ce régime a été fondamentalement modifié par la Règle 44.1 de procédure civile fédérale (et par la Règle 26.1 de procédure pénale fédérale) : la détermination du droit étranger se traite désormais comme une question de droit.
L’essence de l’ « international comity » impose à une cour fédérale de considérer avec soin les vues d’un état étranger au sujet de son propre droit. Mais le poids à donner à ces vues dépend des circonstances du cas d’espèce. Une cour fédérale n’est pas tenue de se conformer à ces vues, et n’est pas tenue non plus d’ignorer d’autres sources permettant d’appréhender le contenu du droit étranger. Ainsi, quand un gouvernement étranger émet des opinions contradictoires ou, comme ici, s’exprime dans le contexte d’une procédure judiciaire, il se peut que l’avis du gouvernement étranger doive être apprécié avec retenue. En pratique, l’avis du gouvernement étranger doit être analysé sous l’angle de sa clarté, de sa rigueur, de sa motivation, de son contexte, de son but, de la transparence du système juridique étranger, du rôle et de l’autorité de l’entité gouvernementale qui s’est exprimée, et de sa consistance avec les prises de position passées dudit gouvernement étranger.
(L’autorité inférieure, à tort, a caractérisé la déclaration du gouvernement étranger comme une attestation officielle donnée sous serment).
Les Etats-Unis ne sont pas parties aux deux traités suivants : European Convention on Information on Foreign Law, Inter-American Convention on Proof of and Information on Foreign Law. Cependant, la Cour observe que la Règle 44.1 est conforme à ces deux traités. 


Monday, May 21, 2018

Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, Docket No. 16-285


Labor law: Arbitration: Saving clause: Class actions:

Should employees and employers be allowed to agree that any disputes between them will be resolved through one-on-one arbitration? Or should employees always be permitted to bring their claims in class or collective ac­tions, no matter what they agreed with their employers?
As a matter of policy these questions are surely debatable. But as a matter of law the answer is clear. In the Federal Arbitration Act, Congress has instructed federal courts to enforce arbitration agreements according to their terms—including terms providing for individualized pro­ceedings. Nor can we agree with the employees’ sugges­tion that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) offers a conflicting command. It is this Court’s duty to interpret Congress’s statutes as a harmonious whole rather than at war with one another. And abiding that duty here leads to an unmistakable conclusion. The NLRA secures to em­ployees rights to organize unions and bargain collectively, but it says nothing about how judges and arbitrators must try legal disputes that leave the workplace and enter the courtroom or arbitral forum. This Court has never read a right to class actions into the NLRA—and for three quar­ters of a century neither did the National Labor Relations Board. Far from conflicting, the Arbitration Act and the NLRA have long enjoyed separate spheres of influence and neither permits this Court to declare the parties’ agree­ments unlawful.
(…) Still, the employees suggest the Arbitration Act’s saving clause creates an exception for cases like theirs. By its terms, the saving clause allows courts to refuse to enforce arbitration agreements “upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of any contract.” §2. That provision applies here, the employees tell us, because the NLRA renders their particular class and collective action waivers illegal. In their view, illegality under the NLRA is a “ground” that “exists at law . . . for the revocation” of their arbitration agreements, at least to the extent those agreements prohibit class or collective action proceedings (…) The saving clause still can’t save their cause.
It can’t because the saving clause recognizes only de­fenses that apply to “any” contract. In this way the clause establishes a sort of “equal-treatment” rule for arbitration contracts. Kindred Nursing Centers L. P. v. Clark, 581 U. S. ___, ___ (2017) (slip op., at 4). The clause “permits agreements to arbitrate to be invalidated by ‘generally applicable contract defenses, such as fraud, duress, or unconscionability.’” Concepcion, 563 U. S., at 339. At the same time, the clause offers no refuge for “defenses that apply only to arbitration or that derive their meaning from the fact that an agreement to arbitrate is at issue.” Ibid. Under our precedent, this means the saving clause does not save defenses that target arbitration either by name or by more subtle methods, such as by “interfering with fundamental attributes of arbitration.” Id., at 344; see Kindred Nursing, supra, at ___ (slip op., at 5). This is where the employees’ argument stumbles. They don’t suggest that their arbitration agreements were extracted, say, by an act of fraud or duress or in some other unconscionable way that would render any contract unenforceable. Instead, they object to their agreements precisely because they require individualized arbitration proceedings instead of class or collective ones. And by attacking (only) the individualized nature of the arbitra­tion proceedings, the employees’ argument seeks to inter­fere with one of arbitration’s fundamental attributes.
(…) The Court recog­nized that parties remain free to alter arbitration proce­dures to suit their tastes, and in recent years some parties have sometimes chosen to arbitrate on a classwide basis. Id., at 351. But Concepcion’s essential insight remains: courts may not allow a contract defense to reshape tradi­tional individualized arbitration by mandating classwide arbitration procedures without the parties’ consent.

(U.S.S.C., May 21, 2018, Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, Docket No. 16-285, J. Gorsuch)

Si un contrat de travail prévoit une clause d’arbitrage, cette clause doit être respectée en cas de litige, sauf à pouvoir alléguer utilement sa nullité en invoquant les motifs de nullité contractuels (illicéité, dol, contrainte notamment). Par ailleurs, si le contrat de travail prévoit une telle clause d’arbitrage, le droit fédéral ne permet pas à l’employé de participer à une procédure de classe. En particulier, la Cour n’a jamais jugé qu’un tel droit pouvait être déduit de la loi fédérale « National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) ». De la sorte, cette loi s’harmonise sans conflit avec la loi fédérale sur l’arbitrage. La récente opinion contraire du « National Labor Relations Board” est ici rejetée. La Cour précise en outre que dite opinion contraire ne mérite pas de déférence au sens de la jurisprudence Chevron, cette problématique n’étant pas laissée par le Congrès à l’appréciation de l’administration.
La Cour dispose ainsi que seuls les moyens permettant d’invoquer la nullité de tous types de contrats peuvent être invoqués pour tenter d’obtenir la nullité d’une clause d’arbitrage. De la sorte, un moyen de nullité qui n’est invocable que contre une clause d’arbitrage est dépourvu d’efficacité. C’est pourquoi en l’espèce les employés ne sont pas parvenus à obtenir la nullité de la clause d’arbitrage de leurs contrats de travail : le moyen de nullité invoqué (une disposition du droit fédéral qui prévoit l’action de classe dans les rapports de travail, et qui ne pourrait être écartée par une clause d’arbitrage 1 :1) n’est pas un motif susceptible d’être invoqué dans tous les litiges contractuels.
Par leur clause d’arbitrage, les parties peuvent moduler la procédure et choisir par exemple la possibilité d’un arbitrage de classe. Celui-ci ne peut cependant pas être imposé s’il n’a pas été choisi.
Cette décision a provoqué une opinion dissidente virulente.