Up until 2006, U.S. law said the following (in 15 U.S.C. 223, which was repealed in 2007):

§ 223. Units of electrical measure

From and after July 21, 1950, the legal units of electrical and photometric measurement in the United States of America shall be those defined and established as provided in the following paragraphs.

The unit of electrical resistance shall be the ohm, which is equal to one thousand million units of resistance of the centimeter-gram-second system of electromagnetic units.

The unit of electric current shall be the ampere, which is one-tenth of the unit of current of the centimeter-gram-second system of electromagnetic units.

And so on for the volt, the coulomb, and several other units.

(These definitions predate the introduction of the International System of Units (SI). For all practical purposes, the units defined this way are identical to the corresponding units of the SI. For those who are curious, there is a pretty good Wikipedia article that explains the relevant scientific issues.)

My question

What were the legal consequences of 15 U.S.C. 223 while it was still in force? For example, if Acme Electric, Inc. started issuing contracts that used e.g. statvolts rather than volts, could someone (either a private or a government agent) have compelled them (through the courts if necessary), solely on the basis of 15 U.S.C. 223, to stop using statvolts and start using volts?

Or did 15 U.S.C. 223 merely imply that no one could object (e.g. by denying the validity of a contract) if Acme Electric, Inc. did use the volt and the ampere? This would be similar to how 15 U.S.C. 204 says that no one can get into trouble for using metric units in general.

(This question is a follow-up to a previous question on this StackExchange.)


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