Appeal, No. 239, Jan. T., 1959, from decree of Court of Common Pleas No. 4 of Philadelphia County, March T., 1959, No. 611, in case of Sinclair Refining Company v. Philip Schwartz. Decree reversed; reargument refused January 25, 1960. Equity. Before GUERIN and ALEXANDER, JJ. Order entered granting preliminary injunction against defendant and requiring plaintiff to give security in amount of $1,000, and decree entered. Defendant appealed.
Martin Silvert, for appellant.
Robert W. Sayre, with him Henry S. Ruth, Jr., for appellee.
Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Bok and Mcbride, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BOK
The court below, at plaintiff's behest, entered a preliminary injunction.
This confronts us with the familiar rule of review, that on appeal from the refusal, grant or continuance of a preliminary injunction we will seek only apparent reasonable grounds for the action and will not consider the merits or the reasons unless it is plain that no grounds for it exist or that the rules of law relied on are palpably wrong or clearly inapplicable: Lindenfelser v. Lindenfelser, 385 Pa. 342 (1956), 123 A.2d 626.
Plaintiff manufactures, refines, and sells petroleum products, including gasoline known as H-C and Power-X. It advertises widely and its product is known and used throughout the country.
Defendant is a dealer who owns and operates his gasoline service station in Philadelphia. He leased his property to plaintiff for a cent and three-quarters per gallon sold and plaintiff leased or licensed it back to him for a quarter cent. This is not a uniform rate, but varies with the locality of the station and its value to plaintiff.
Acting under what is commonly called the Fair Trade Act (June 5, 1935, P.L. 266; June 12, 1941, P.L. 128, No. 66, 73 P.S. §§ 7-11; Act of May 29, 1956, P.L. (1955) 1855, 73 P.S. §§ 12-26, pocket), plaintiff entered into agreements with 112 of its 146 retail dealers in the area, by which the dealers agreed not to sell plaintiff's gasoline at less than stated minimum prices. Defendant was not one of those that signed such an agreement, but Section 2 of the Act makes it unfair
competition to sell at less than the price stipulated in any such contract, and this has been upheld: Burche Co. v. General Electric Co., 382 Pa. 370 (1955), 115 A.2d 361; Mathieson Chemical Corp. ...