ABKCO Industries v. Apple Films, Inc.
New York Court of Appeals
39 N.Y.2d 670, 385 N.Y.S.2d 511, 350 N.E.2d 899 (1976)
Apple Films, Ltd. (LTD) was an English company that owned certain rights to a film (film). LTD entered into a licensing agreement with New York-based Apple Films, Inc. (INC) (defendant) pursuant to which INC would pay LTD 80 percent of the net profits from the distribution of the film. In turn, INC entered into a distribution agreement with United Artists (United) pursuant to which INC transferred its rights regarding the film’s distribution to United in exchange for 50 percent of the film’s gross receipts. LTD borrowed money from ABKCO Industries, Inc. (ABKCO) (plaintiff). When LTD did not repay the loan, ABKCO—which could not obtain jurisdiction in New York over LTD—asked the supreme court to attach LTD’s interest in its licensing agreement with INC. The supreme court granted the requested attachment order, which ABKCO sought to use to establish quasi-in-rem jurisdiction over LTD. The appellate division affirmed. LTD appealed, arguing that the attachment was improper under Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR) § 5201(a) because LTD’s interest in the distribution agreement was not a debt that was past due or that was certain or payable upon LTD’s demand. Specifically, LTD cited the facts that (1) INC did not yet owe LTD money under the distribution agreement; (2) it was uncertain how successful the film would be and thus it was uncertain how much, if anything, INC would owe LTD under the distribution agreement; and (3) at the time of attachment LTD actually owed money to INC due to INC’s advancement of certain LTD expenses. LTD further argued that although its interest in the distribution agreement was assignable or transferable, its interest was not located in New York and thus was not attachable in New York.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Jones, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 710,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 710,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 44,600 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.