The US Supreme Court reverses the lower court’s decisions addressing the issue of single entity notion under antitrust law (American Needle / National Football League)

American Needle, Inc. v. National Football League* In American Needle, Inc. v. National Football League, 130 S.Ct. 2201 (2010), the Supreme Court held that the NFL acting through its incorporated subsidiary NFL Properties, Inc. (NFLP) was not a single entity but rather a combination of its 32 individual member teams for purposes of the plaintiff’s antitrust challenge to an exclusive licensing agreement. The teams had licensed their trademarks and insignia exclusively to NFLP, which then issued a single exclusive license for the production of logo-bearing caps to Reebok, thus ousting American Needle or anyone else from producing NFL caps. The American Needle decision could conceivably rest on alternative rationales for its separate entity conclusion. These are (1) the teams are

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Herbert J. Hovenkamp, The US Supreme Court reverses the lower court’s decisions addressing the issue of single entity notion under antitrust law (American Needle / National Football League), 24 May 2010, e-Competitions Bulletin US Supreme Court, Art. N° 36016

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