• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Using relevant case law explain why the distinction between an invitation to treat and an offer is important in Contract law.

Extracts from this document...


Using relevant case law explain why the distinction between an invitation to treat and an offer is important in Contract law. An 'invitation to treat' is inviting parties to create a contract. It represents the preliminary stage of negotiation. A person making an invitation to treat does not intend to be bound as soon as it is accepted by the person to whom the statement is addressed. An invitation to treat is always a fixed price and a choice; it is not an offer to sell. Newspapers and catalogues are examples of invitations to treat. An 'offer' is defined as a statement of willingness where the person who is making the offer (offeror), promises to be bound in a contract if the terms of the offer are accepted by the person accepting the offer (offeree). An individual or organisation can make an offer to another individual (bilateral) ...read more.


The display of goods on the supermarket's shelves was merely an invitation to customers to make offers to buy. Parties can be invited through advertisements such as magazines or newspapers- Partridge v Crittenden [1968] 1 WLR 1204 QB. This is the famous case in which the plaintiff had put an advertisement in a newspaper for hens. The plaintiff was charged with illegally offering for sale a wild life bird conflicting the Protection of Birds Act 1954. It was held that the advertisement was an invitation to treat rather than an offer for sale,[1]. As a result of this the plaintiff was not guilty of the offence. The principle from Boots cash chemists was also used in Fisher v Bell [1961] 1 QB 394 where a shopkeeper displayed a knife in his window and under the Offensive Weapons Act 1959, it was illegal to offer for sale offensive weapons. ...read more.


Ltd [1893] 1 QB, the defendants sold a smoke ball and put an advertisement in the newspaper claiming they would play �100 to anyone who contracted influenza after using the smoke ball for a specified period. The plaintiff contracted influenza after having purchased and used as directed and claimed the reward. The defendants argued that it was impossible to contract to the whole world, nevertheless this was rejected by the Court of Appeal. The court had identified that for an advertisement to be viewed as an offer, it has to be very specific. In this case there were other implications, for example �1000 was placed in a bank account to show that it was serious, this highlighted the validity of the offer. We see the more specific an advertisement the more likely it is to be seen as an offer. Overall, It is extremely important to distinguish the differences between invitation to treat and offer, if the differences are not recognized the whole meaning and purpose could lead in to a different understanding which is incorrect. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Law of Contract section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

3 Stars, due to the foregoing.

Marked by teacher Edward Smith 09/07/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Law of Contract essays

  1. Critically evaluate what in law will amount to an offer

    Another example of where invitation to treat can be mistaken for an offer is highlighted in the case of Pharmaceutical Society of GB V. Boots cash chemist (1953), whereby Under the pharmacy and poisons act 1933, certain drugs must be sold by a qualified pharmacist.

  2. Four ways in which a contract may be discharged.

    Time is of the essence where: > The parties so stipulate. > The nature of the subject matter or surrounding circumstances requires it. > A party subject to unreasonable delay gives notice making it so. 3. DISCHARGE BY FRUSTRATION. After the conclusion of the contract, but before performance, the circumstances so change that there is no longer a workable agreement.

  1. Dealing with problems of offer and acceptance.

    4. Rob's reply by letter Rob responded by post. According to the traditional postal rule, posted acceptances are binding from the moment that they are posted.

  2. Contract Law - offer and acceptance.

    for stock, the plaintiff's tender was the highest but the defendant refused to sell the stock. It was held by the court that the leaflets were not an offer to sell the stock to the highest bidder but an invitation for offers to purchase the stock.

  1. Invitation To Treat

    The classic case on this point is Scammel v Ouston (1941), in which the court was unable to decide on the precise nature of the offer that was supposed to have been accepted by the plaintiff The issue raised by this question is whether or not the parties intended to be legally bound by their agreement.

  2. Write a critical evaluation of the elements of any two property offences

    into account in terms of appropriation; this is clearly evident in the dissenting speech of Lord Lowry in Gomez. However now, due to this broad definition, a person can be found guilty under the Theft Act 1968 even if consent was provided.

  1. Entores ltd V. Miles Far East Corperation [1955] 2 QB 327(CA)

    Appellants' Argument chaThe defendants argued that the contract was not made in England but was made in Holland. The appellants applied for the Order 11 to be discharged and the subsequent proceedings to be set aside. cccccccccccccccc The appellants carry on arguing that as far as a contract made by

  2. Evaluate the law of formation of contract in the context of modern methods of ...

    (1955) it suggests that the postal rule does not apply to some methods of instantaneous communication such as telephone and this is supplemented with Brinkibon Ltd v Stahag Stahl GmbH (1982) as it stated: ??it would seem?that the communication should take effect at the time when the (offeree)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work