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

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 manufacturers have truly nationwide policies or whether they have excepted those states that still treat — or may treat — minimum RPM as per se unlawful.

Update: After hearing a bit more about this, it sounds like these are Colgate unilateral pricing policies (no agreement; if retailers don’t abide, they don’t receive more product).  But I’m not entirely sure.

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]

“Taking the Law Out of Harvard Law School”

The absurd disconnect between legal education and practice has often been noted, but Max Kennerly has a superbly-articulated critique of the continuing state of affairs at HLS and other law schools. (No, I don't agree with everything else on Max's … [Continue reading]

Blog “Hop” — Why I Write

brian-rogers

My fellow blogger Brian Rogers recently asked me to participate in a “blog hop.” This particular blog hop got rolling (hopping?) with a post by Bill Ellis. What’s a blog hop, you may ask? Well, I didn’t know either before this post, but the idea is … [Continue reading]

Basketball, Surreptitious Recordings, and Antitrust

Donald Sterling -- yes, that Donald Sterling -- filed an antitrust lawsuit a few days ago against the National Basketball Association.  You can download a copy here: Sterling Antitrust Complaint. It's not clear if the complaint has now been mooted … [Continue reading]

Collusion Regarding Terms of Medical Resident Employment?

Did you ever wonder why teaching hospitals can conduct their medical residency "match" program?  And why they can share data and use it to help set wages for residents?  And why the match program effectively forbids salary negotiation?  The apparent … [Continue reading]

A Rare Challenge to a Class Action Settlement . . . From a Named Plaintiff

One of the named class plaintiffs in the high-tech employee antitrust case has filed an objection to the proposed class settlement.  The plaintiff, Mr. Michael Devine, analogized the approximately $300 million settlement (worth approximately 10% of … [Continue reading]

Northern District of California Raises the Bar on Exclusive Dealing Claims

In PNY Technologies, Inc. v. SanDisk Corp., Case No. C-11-04689 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 25, 2014) (Orrick, J.), the court dismissed PNY’s exclusive dealing and attempted monopolization claims. I previously covered the case here. The case is significant … [Continue reading]

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