Antitrust and Intellectual Property

With our rich client base in technology markets, our antitrust and intellectual property practice rates among the strongest in the country. We regularly deal with the evolving and complex antitrust rules that exist at the intersection with intellectual property law. While antitrust rules seek to promote free competition, intellectual property protections give patent, trademark, and copyright owners certain exclusive rights in their creations. The issues that arise when intellectual property rights and antitrust rules cross paths require not only a deep understanding of the antitrust laws, but also of our clients' businesses and the role of the intellectual property rights portfolios.

We work with the firm's nationally recognized technology transactions, life sciences, and patent litigation attorneys to ensure that our clients are advised properly on how to manage their intellectual property rights without running afoul of the antitrust laws and, when litigation arises, we represent our clients in the defense or prosecution of antitrust claims. Our antitrust and intellectual property practice is an acknowledged leader in handling matters involving IP licensing, patent pooling, and standard setting, as well as antitrust litigation that raises intellectual property issues. Our antitrust group, for example, has successfully represented clients in high-stakes litigation involving claims of patent-based antitrust violations.

The firm's antitrust team has been involved in the following matters:

  • Represented a wireless technology developer and licensor against claims that it had violated FRAND commitments and engaged in anticompetitive patent misuse and hold-up. The claim was tried to an International Trade Commission Administrative Law Judge, who ruled in the company's favor in finding that the company had not violated FRAND commitments or engaged in impermissible anticompetitive conduct.
  • Represented a major software developer in connection with an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission into whether its decision to encrypt its file format was a pretextual product change designed to foreclose competition
  • Represented a patent holder in an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission into whether its attempts to license its standard essential patent portfolio constituted a FRAND offer and whether its decision to bundle its patents constituted impermissible tying
  • Represented a major software developer in connection with a monopolization investigation by the Federal Trade Commission into whether Apple's decision to foreclose third-party development platforms from its iOS mobile platform constituted monopoly maintenance by creating an application barrier to entry
  • Represented a prominent social networking company in a Federal Trade Commission investigation into whether its change of its terms of service was a pretextual attempt to foreclose interoperability with competitors
  • FTC v. VISX: Defended VISX in this precedent-setting case by the Federal Trade Commission alleging that VISX and its competitor unlawfully pooled their patents for purposes of monopolizing the market for laser eye-correction techniques, and that VISX obtained its key patent through inequitable conduct before the Patent and Trademark Office. The patent misuse claim was tried to an FTC administrative law judge, who ruled in VISX's favor and dismissed the FTC staff's claim.
  • Represented Google in connection with the Department of Justice's investigation into the proposed settlement of litigation concerning Google Book Search, as well as in cases alleging monopolization and attempted monopolization of the search advertising market
  • Represented SanDisk in connection with various attempted monopolization cases alleging that it tried to monopolize certain parts of the flash memory market
  • Represented a microprocessor manufacturer in several actions against another microprocessor company alleging unlawful monopolization and attempted monopolization in the misuse of intellectual property by the other firm
  • Represented a flash memory company in an action defending against allegations of patent misuse and antitrust violations in the creation of an industry standard incorporating the company's technology
  • Represented a multinational company in responding to the Federal Trade Commission's compulsory study of PAEs
  • Represented a technology company before the Federal Trade Commission regarding the abuse of dominance of a company's widely used platform