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Category: Antitrust


Anticompetitive Practices or Protecting IP? 1-800 Contacts Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over Keyword Advertising Agreements
April 13, 2017
Post by Nicholas J. Krob
Contact lens company 1-800 Contacts is currently facing a class action lawsuit for agreements it allegedly entered into regarding online search advertising as early as 2004. Earlier this month, a class of consumers who had purchased contact lenses through the 1-800 Contacts website, including Florida resident Kathryn Champion, filed suit in federal court against the highly successful contact lens company.......
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Supreme Court: NFL collective licensing of trademarks not immune from Section 1 antitrust scrutiny
May 26, 2010
Post by Blog Staff
Monday the Supreme Court unanimously held the NFL's practice of collectively licensing the trademarks of all 32 individual teams is not immune from antitrust scrutiny under Section 1 of the Sherman Act. The NFL argued that because the marks are all licensed through a single entity, NFL Properties, there was no "contract, combination, . . . or conspiracy" under § 1, and therefore there could .......
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En banc Federal Circuit to address potential patent misuse issues in license practices
October 20, 2009
Post by Blog Staff
The Federal Circuit has agreed to hear en banc an interesting issue with regard to the potential for patent misuse in licensing. The case is Princo Corp. v. ITC. At issue is the patent pool related to the technology used for CD-R and CD-RW discs. The alleged infringer, Princo, admitted infringement before the ITC, but asserted the patents unenforceable due to patent misuse. The ITC originally rejected this de.......
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Ninth Circuit: Sufficient evidence of fraud to defeat summary judgment on Walker Process claim
March 27, 2009
Post by Blog Staff
In a recent decision, the Ninth Circuit addressed the antitrust implications of so-called "reverse payments" between brand name and generic pharmaceutical companies. A health care provider brought suit against the two companies, alleging their agreement to delay the introduction of a generic pharmaceutical (which involved payment to the generic manufacturer of $4.5 million per month) was a violation of.......
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Second Circuit: Copyright license of indeterminate term improperly read to be perpetual
November 07, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In this appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York, the Second Circuit reversed the dismissal of a copyright claim based on ambiguity in a contract, but affirmed dismissal of the antitrust claims because the plaintiff's proposed market definition was not plausible.The district court dismissed the copyright claims based on a contract granting the defendants the right to .......
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If no anticompetitive effect outside exclusionary zone of patent, reverse payment OK in ANDA cases
October 29, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit upheld the district court's grant of summary judgment in an antitrust case. At issue was whether reverse payments (from the patentee to the accused infringer) in the context of the Hatch-Waxman Act violated antitrust laws. The Federal Circuit observed that "[t]he essence of the inquiry is whether the agreements restrict competition beyond the exclusionary zone.......
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Second Circuit: MLB collective trademark licensing does not violate Sherman Act
September 26, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a recent decision, the Second Circuit affirmed a district court's summary judgment to the defendant in an antitrust case regarding trademark licensing. The case involved the collective licensing setup of Major League Baseball Properties ("MLBP"). The plaintiff was a licensee of MLBP. The court held the centralized licensing agent for all Major League Baseball teams did not violate § 1 of.......
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Third Circuit: Patentee's intentional falsehood to standards body can support antitrust claim
September 05, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
Maybe it's time for Qualcomm to rethink how it approaches standard-setting organizations. In a decision today, the Third Circuit reversed in part a district court's dismissal of rival Broadcom's antitrust claims, finding that Broadcom had adequately pleaded actions by Qualcomm that, if true, would constitute an antitrust violation.The facts of the case are similar to those in a recent case in Calif.......
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Supreme Court: vertical retail price maintenance no longer per se violation of antitrust law
July 02, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
Overruling a nearly century old decision, the Supreme Court Thursday held that a manufacturer may, in some instances, enter into a vertical agreement with its retailers to set minimum retail prices for the manufacturer's goods. The court overruled the venerable decision in Dr. Miles Medical Co. v. John D. Park & Sons Co., 220 U.S. 373 (1911), which held that such agreements were a per se violation of Sect.......
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Dippin' Dots: brought to you by inequitable conduct, but not an antitrust violation
February 09, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
What do Dippin' Dots, the little beads of ice cream sold at fairs, stadiums, and malls, have to do with patent and antitrust law? For the Federal Circuit, they presented the "close case" where a patent holder can be found to have engaged in inequitable conduct during prosecution of the patent but is not liable for a Walker Process antitrust claim by an infringement defendant. This is possib.......
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Walker Process antitrust claim reinstated: threats to sue competitor's customers sufficient
January 26, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
In Hydril Co. v. Grant Prideco, Inc., the Federal Circuit reinstated a Walker Process antitrust claim the lower court had dismissed. A Walker Process claim can arise when a patent holder, knowing that its patent was obtained through fraud, still attempts to enforce the patent. This type of claim is named after the Supreme Court case where it was first described as a valid claim under United States antitrust laws.......
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The attorneys of McKee, Voorhees & Sease, P.L.C. designed this blog as an informational and educational resource about intellectual property law for our clients, other attorneys, and the public as a whole. Our goal is to provide cutting-edge information about recent developments in intellectual property law, including relevant case law updates, proposed legislation, and intellectual property law in the news.

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