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1.5.1 Consumer Products; Goods

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act applies to consumer products, defined as “any tangible personal property which is distributed in commerce and which is normally used for personal, family, or household purposes.”87

Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) Article 2 also applies to transactions in goods.88 The term goods is defined in section 2-105(1) as “all things (including specially manufactured goods) which are movable at the time of identification to the contract for sale.”89 Animals are goods.90 Most courts hold that distributorship agreements are contracts for goods.91 On the other hand, courts hold that insurance,92 contracts for the placement of advertisements,93 and intangible rights94 are not goods.

Footnotes

  • 87 {79} 15 U.S.C. § 2301(1). See § 2.2.1, infra.

  • 88 {80} U.C.C. § 2-102.

  • 89 {81} GOODS: MRL Dev. I, L.L.C. v. Whitecap Inv. Corp., 823 F.3d 195 (3d Cir. 2016) (lumber); Propulsion Technologies, Inc. v. Attwood Corp., 369 F.3d 896 (5th Cir. 2004) (manufactured items are goods even though they are custom-designed); Pac. AG Group v. H. Ghesquiere Farms, Inc., 63 U.C.C. Rep. Serv. 2d 805 (E.D.N.C. 2007) (crops yet to be planted); Son v. Coal Equity, Inc., 293 B.R. 392 (W.D. Ky. 2003) (coal is goods as long as seller is to sever it from the realty), aff’d in part, rev’d in part on other grounds, 122 Fed. Appx. 797 (6th Cir. 2004); Cent. Ill. Light Co. v. Consolidation Coal Co., 235 F. Supp. 2d 916 (C.D. Ill. 2002) (coal), aff’d on other grounds, 349 F.3d 488 (7th Cir. 2003); Tourist Vill. Motel, Inc. v. Mass. Eng’g Co., 801 F. Supp. 903 (D.N.H. 1992) (fuel oil tank); Rite Aid Corp. v. Levy-Gray, 894 A.2d 563 (Md. 2006) (prescription drugs are goods and can be subject of express warranty); Rothing v. Kallestad, 159 P.3d 222 (Mont. 2007) (hay); Sabin-Goldberg v. Horn, 578 N.Y.S.2d 187 (N.Y. App. Div. 1992) (securities in a cooperative corporation); Chien v. Tova Realty, 573 N.Y.S.2d 855 (N.Y. Civ. Ct. 1991) (shares in a cooperative); Iwtmm, Inc. v. Forest Hills Rest Home, 577 S.E.2d 175 (N.C. Ct. App. 2003) (agreement for sale of drugs by pharmacist to nursing home is governed by U.C.C.); Neugent v. Beroth Oil Co., 560 S.E.2d 829 (N.C. Ct. App. 2002) (motor fuel is goods); Gladhart v. Or. Vineyard Supply Co., 994 P.2d 134 (Or. Ct. App. 1999) (grape vines), rev’d on other grounds, 26 P.3d 817 (Or. 2001); Credit Acceptance Corp. v. Coates, 75 Va. Cir. 267 (2008) (car). See also Jalali v. M.G. Eagle Entm’t Corp., 52 U.C.C. Rep. Serv. 2d 373 (Cal. Ct. App. 2003) (loan is not goods, but if foreign currency is sold as commodity then it is goods).

    NOT GOODS: Lamle v. Mattel, Inc., 394 F.3d 1355, 1359 n.2 (Fed. Cir. 2005) (license for intellectual property is not goods); Philippine Am. Life Ins. v. Raytheon Aircraft Co., 252 F. Supp. 2d 1138, 1145 (D. Kan. 2003) (installation instructions are not goods, so U.C.C. implied warranties do not attach; court does not consider whether adequate instructions might be part of implied warranty of merchantability for the goods under U.C.C. § 2-314(2)(e), (f)); Thompson v. AIG Haw. Ins. Co., 142 P.3d 277 (Haw. 2006) (release of personal injury claim not sale of goods, so U.C.C. unconscionability provision inapplicable); Rayle v. Bowling Green State Univ., 739 N.E.2d 1260 (Ohio Ct. Cl. 2000) (“personal seat license” in football stadium not goods); Kottis v. Cerilli, 612 A.2d 661 (R.I. 1992) (stock in closely held corporation not “goods”); In re Breast Implant Prod. Liab. Litig., 503 S.E.2d 445 (S.C. 1998) (health care providers offer services, not products, and U.C.C. does not apply to medical devices used in treatment of patients).

  • 90 {82} Land O’Lakes Purina Feed L.L.C. v. Jaeger, 976 F. Supp. 2d 1073, 1076 (S.D. Iowa 2013) (pigs); Purina Mills, L.L.C. v. Less, 295 F. Supp. 2d 1017 (N.D. Iowa 2003) (pigs); Deaver v. Auction Block Co., 107 P.3d 884 (Alaska 2005) (fish); Randazzo v. McCarthy, 58 U.C.C. Rep. Serv. 2d 675 (Conn. Super. Ct. 2005) (pony); Scruggs v. Caba, 57 U.C.C. Rep. Serv. 2d 890 (Conn. Super. Ct. 2005) (dog); Embryo Progeny Associates v. Lovana Farms, Inc., 416 S.E.2d 833 (Ga. Ct. App. 1992) (cattle); Flanagan v. Consol. Nutrition, L.C., 627 N.W.2d 573 (Iowa Ct. App. 2001) (livestock); Rotunda v. Haynes, 933 N.Y.S.2d 803 (N.Y. App. Term 2011) (dog).

  • 91 {83} GOODS: Specialty Beverages, L.L.C. v. Pabst Brewing Co., 537 F.3d 1165 (10th Cir. 2008) (Okla. law); Coburn Supply Co. v. Kohler Co., 342 F.3d 372 (5th Cir. 2003); Viking Supply v. Nat’l Cart Co., 310 F.3d 1092 (8th Cir. 2002) (Minn. law); Watkins & Son Pet Supplies v. The Iams Co., 254 F.3d 607 (6th Cir. 2001) (Ohio law); Getty Petroleum Mktg., Inc. v. Shipley Fuels Mktg., L.L.C., 64 U.C.C. Rep. Serv. 2d 75 (E.D. Pa. 2007), aff’d, 293 Fed. Appx. 166 (3d Cir. 2008); Auto-Chlor Sys. of Minn., Inc. v. JohnsonDiversey, 328 F. Supp. 2d 980 (D. Minn. 2004); Wang Laboratories, Inc. v. Lee, 44 U.C.C. Rep. Serv. 2d 470 (Del. Super. Ct. 1989); Santa Fe Customer Shutters & Doors, Inc. v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., 113 P.3d 347 (N.M. Ct. App. 2005); Cont’l Casing Corp. v. Siderca Corp., 38 S.W.3d 782 (Tex. App. 2001).

    NOT GOODS: Wolverine World Wide, Inc. v. Wolverine Canada, Inc., 653 F. Supp. 2d 747 (W.D. Mich. 2009) (not goods when distributorship agreement lacked quantity term, and distributor was to buy goods from authorized dealer, not this party).

  • 92 {84} See, e.g., Call v. Czaplicki, 72 U.C.C. Rep. Serv. 2d 912 (D.N.J. 2010); State Compensation Ins. Fund v. Notis Enterprises, Inc., 71 U.C.C. Rep. Serv. 2d 819 (Cal. Ct. App. 2010); Jones v. CGU Ins. Co., 78 S.W.3d 626 (Tex. App. 2002) (insurance is not goods so buyer cannot bring U.C.C. claim against seller’s insurer). See also Klapp v. United Ins. Group Agency, 674 N.W.2d 736 (Mich. Ct. App. 2003) (by analogy to U.C.C., definition of goods in non-U.C.C. statutes does not include insurance contracts).

  • 93 {85} See, e.g., Bradley v. Google, Inc., 61 U.C.C. Rep. Serv. 2d 682 (N.D. Cal. 2006) (internet-based advertisements); In re Deer, 70 U.C.C. Rep. Serv. 2d 305 (Bankr. S.D. Miss. 2007) (yellow pages advertisements); Wall St. Network, Ltd. v. New York Times Co., 80 Cal. Rptr. 3d 6 (Cal. Ct. App. 2008) (contract for placement of advertisements, here pop-up ads); Directory Publishers Inc. v. Lake Country Hearth & Leisure, 753 N.Y.S.2d 660 (N.Y. City Ct. 2002) (contract for yellow pages advertisement is a contract for services).

  • 94 {86} See, e.g., GP & W, Inc. v. Int’l Exch. Services, L.L.C., 78 U.C.C. Rep. Serv. 2d 800 (E.D. Mo. 2012) (numerical codes that represent the right to claim renewable fuel credits from Environmental Protection Agency are intangible rights, not goods, even though they can be bought and sold). See also Fink v. DeClassis, 745 F. Supp. 509 (N.D. Ill. 1990) (“intangible” corporate assets not goods).