Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1749644
 
 

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Upon Further Review: Will The NFL's Trademark Licensing Practices Survive Full Antitrust Scrutiny? The Remand of American Needle v. National Football League


Marc Edelman


City University of New York - Baruch College, Zicklin School of Business; Fordham University School of Law

Spring 2011

Stanford Journal of Law, Business, and Finance

Abstract:     
On May 24, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case American Needle v. Nat’l Football League that the National Football League’s trademark licensing practices are subject to review under Section 1 of the Sherman Act. This ruling reversed an earlier decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which had held that the National Football League’s trademark licensing practices are exempt from Section 1 scrutiny.

In light of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in American Needle, this article explores whether the National Football League’s trademark licensing practices could survive a full antitrust review under Section 1 of the Sherman Act. Part I of this article introduces both the National Football League's trademark licensing practices and Section 1 of the Sherman Act. Part II discusses the pleadings and preliminary arguments made by the parties in American Needle. Part III explains why the Supreme Court recently held that the National Football League’s trademark licensing practices are subject to a full antitrust review under Section 1 of the Sherman Act. Part IV explores the steps that a district court should take to review the National Football League’s trademark licensing arrangement. Finally, Part V concludes that there is a small but reasonable chance that the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois would find that the National Football League’s trademark licensing practices violate Section 1 of the Sherman Act.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 40

Keywords: antitrust, Sherman Act, sports, sports law, trademarks, American Needle, licensing, single entity, market power, competition, competition law

JEL Classification: K11, K12, K22, K4, L12, L40, L41, L44, L49, L51, Z10, D21, D18, D23, D42, D61

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Date posted: January 28, 2011 ; Last revised: April 28, 2012

Suggested Citation

Edelman, Marc, Upon Further Review: Will The NFL's Trademark Licensing Practices Survive Full Antitrust Scrutiny? The Remand of American Needle v. National Football League (Spring 2011). Stanford Journal of Law, Business, and Finance. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1749644

Contact Information

Marc Edelman (Contact Author)
City University of New York - Baruch College, Zicklin School of Business ( email )
One Bernard Baruch Way
Box B9-220
New York, NY 10010
United States
Fordham University School of Law ( email )
140 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023
United States
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