Essay: Invitation to treat

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  • Subject area(s): Law essays
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  • Published on: August 12, 2017
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  • Invitation to treat
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One of a concept in a contract law is an invitation of treat. Invitation to a treat is a willingness to do a negotiation. When one person makes an offer and the other person are accepts it, that contract is legally happened with voluntary agreement between them. That offer must be contrasted with an option and also an advertisement. An option is function to keep the offer open and be available for a certain period of a time. This is because, to give the person that have been offered a time to consider what the best for him whether to give him a time to raise the necessary finance or he was in fact wishes to buy that item or product and accept the offer under consideration. Furthermore, whether an advertisement is an offer or an invitation to treat, it was depends on the intention of the parties in each case. The court have decided that advertisement of a bilateral contract are not defines as an offers while unilateral contracts are construed to be offers.

First case is a Harrison v Nickerson (1873). This is happen because the Defendant which is Nickerson has placed an advertisement about certain item including office furniture that he would be placed up for auction in the Bury St. Edmunds for over three days. Then, the Plaintiff which is Harrison saw that advertisement and has expended his time and expense to travel to the Bury St. Edmunds to find the item that he was interested in and to bid for the office furniture. However, on the third day, there are many of office furniture were withdrawn. This makes the Plaintiff feel sad and sued for the loss of his time and expense. The Plaintiff was argued that the advertisement constitute a contract between themselves and the Defendant need to sell the item and furniture accordingly to the conditions that have been stated in that advertisement and the action of Defendant who are withdrawal of the furniture was a breach of that contract. But, the Defendant has submitted that he was not breach of contract because the advertisement of a sale that he was made are not constitute a contract. After that, the court have ruled that the advertisement that the Defendant was made are not constitute as an offer but only as a declaration of intent. The sell and purchase process also not been held between them so they are not bound by a contract. But, according to Blackburn, J. he founded that anyone who are advertise their selling by doing publishing and advertisement, they need to be responsible to everybody who are attending the sale for the time and travelling expenses.

For the second case is a Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co. ltd (1893). Carbolic Smoke Ball Co. ltd which is the Defendant are sold The Carbolic Smoke Ball and their company has placed the advertisement in various newspaper that they are offering a reward £100 to anyone who are using the smoke ball for three times per days as directed but still are succumbed to influenza. After seeing the advertisement, the Plaintiff which is Carlill has purchased that item and used it as directed. But, nevertheless, she was contracted influenza so she made a claim for the reward. The Defendant was refused to pay and the Plaintiff sued them for the damages arising that they have made from a breach of a contract. But, the company argued it that it was not a serious contract. Then, the Defendant has lost their argument so, because of that they are appealed straight away but was rejected and held that there was fully binding contract between them. One of the reason that have been given by the judges is the advertisement is not an unilateral offer which mean that advertisement are not offer to all world but only restricted to those who acted like the terms that are contain in the advertisement, so that contract is legal. Besides that, when the Plaintiff has buy that item and used it as directed, selling and purchasing process has happened between them so they are bound by a contract.


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