Distribution, Competition, and Antitrust / Intellectual Property (IP) Law

Three Billy Goats Gruff

(You know . . .  the fairy tale about trolls.)

This summer, PwC published its 2014 Patent Litigation Study.  The tagline of the study is “[a]s case volume leaps, damages continue general decline.”

Some of they key findings — which are quite fascinating — are:

  • Median damages awards continue to trend down—to $4.3 million in recent years.
  • Damages awards for NPEs averaged more than triple those for practicing entities over the last four years.
  • The median jury award amounted to nearly 37.5 times the median bench award between 2010 and 2013.
  • NPEs have been successful 25% of the time overall, versus 35% for practicing entities, due to the relative lack of success for NPEs at summary judgment. However, both types of entities win about two-thirds of their trials.

You can read the whole thing at the link above.

Is the NCAA a Cartel?

The usually good Planet Money program has an excellent recent podcast setting forth the arguments for and against the NCAA [National Collegiate Athletic Association] being an unlawful cartel. … [Continue reading]

Could Amazon Possibly Be a Monopolist? (Updated) (Again)

Franklin Foer, at the New Republic, argues that the answer is yes.  The alleged "crime": predatory pricing -- if not express, than at least in spirit. In "There's one huge problem with calls for anti-trust action against Amazon" at vox.com, … [Continue reading]

Can you ever successfully Daubert an antitrust economist?

It's really a very difficult thing to do -- and query whether it's worth the effort.  See, e.g., The Apple iPod iTunes Antitrust Litigation, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136437 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 26, 2014) (Gonzalez Rogers, J.) (denying Daubert motions all … [Continue reading]

Ninth Circuit Holds State Action Immunity Doctrine Bars Claims Against Convention Center

In United National Maintenance, Inc. v. San Diego Convention Center, Inc., No. 12-56809 (9th Cir. May 14, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the San Diego Convention center enjoyed state-action immunity from … [Continue reading]

N.D. Cal. Just Opened the Damages Umbrella

In County of San Mateo v. CSL, Limited, Case No. 3:10-cv-05686-JSC (N.D. Cal. Aug. 20, 2014) (Corley, M.J.), the Northern District of California held that California's antitrust law, the Cartwright Act, allows the recovery of umbrella damages.  If … [Continue reading]

The Senate is Considering Minimum Resale Pricing for Contact Lenses

NPR has the story.  Under federal law, of course, RPM is subject to the Rule of Reason.  Apparently the Senate is interested because a large portion of the contact lens market is subject to the restrictions. It is unclear to me whether the … [Continue reading]

Northern District of California Addresses Functional Discounts, Price Discrimination Claims

In Mathew Enterprise, Inc. v. Chrysler Group, LLC, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95522 (N.D. Cal. July 11, 2014) (Freeman, J.), the court dismissed certain Robinson-Patman Act price discrimination claims and allowed others to proceed, and in so doing … [Continue reading]

A World Without Patents?

Planet Money's recent podcast interviews two economists who advocate for the ultimate patent law reform: the abolition of patents. They argue that patents inhibit innovation.  For example, the Wright Brothers supposedly secured a number of patents … [Continue reading]

Happy Fourth of July

For your weekend reading, here's an interesting article by Joseph Stiglitz in the New York Times: "Inequality is Not Inevitable." … [Continue reading]

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