American Needle Upon Remand
Seton Hall Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law Volume 24, Issue 1, Article 3, 2014
39 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2014 Last revised: 8 Nov 2014
Date Written: April 23, 2014
For over ten years, since 2002, the NFL has designated exclusive licensee(s), such as Reebok and Nike, for licensed apparel of the 32 NFL teams. In 2008, American Needle Inc, one of the former apparel manufactures precluded from the football licensing business, brought an Antitrust lawsuit; alleging that the NFL teams’ agreement to market its intellectual property collectively, in tandem with the NFL’s practice of designating an exclusive licensee, violates § 1 of the Sherman Act. In 2010, the Supreme Court found merit in such arguments; remanding to the lower courts to conduct a proper Sherman Act analysis. This Article, using a variety of metrics, including a determination of market power, the quick-look analysis, and the full-blown rule of reason, will argue that the anticompetitive harms emanating from NFL’s collectivity and exclusivity agreements are sufficient to sustain a Sherman Act violation.
Keywords: Yifei He, University of Connecticut, UConn Law, National Football League, NFL, American Needle,, Antitrust, Trademark, Intellectual Property
JEL Classification: A10, K21, L83, O34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation