Monday, June 21, 2010

DRI Panel: Licenses, Monopolies and the NFL: An Examination of the Supreme Court's Decision in American Needle v. NFL and Its Effects in Sports,

This Thursday at 1 p.m. (central time) in Chicago, DRI (the Voice of the Defense Bar) will be hosting a panel titled Licenses, Monopolies and the NFL: An Examination of the Supreme Court's Decision in American Needle and Its Effects in Sports, IP, Antitrust and Labor Law. Tim Epstein will moderate the panel discussion, with Gabe Feldman and me as the panelists.

A webcast of the event is available. For DRI members, the webcast costs $150; for non-members, it's $180.

Here are more details:
On May 24, 2010, the Supreme Court decided 9-0 against the National Football League (NFL) in American Needle v. NFL, one of the most important legal decisions in U.S. sports.

The case stems from the NFL's decision to enter into an exclusive, long-term apparel license with Reebok and not to renew its license with American Needle. For antitrust counsel, the decision is important because the Court found that the NFL did not constitute a single entity under the Sherman Act because "the NFL teams do not possess either the unitary decision-making quality or the single aggregation of economic power characteristic of independent action." This decision also affects intellectual property counsel who need to direct clients to tread lightly with exclusive licensing deals. Labor or employment lawyers should take note of the potential effects that such decisions have on collective bargaining negotiations, notably the NFL's negotiations with its players for play beginning in 2011.

Who Should Attend
Attorneys representing product manufacturers and sports entities
Intellectual property attorneys
Antitrust counsel
Labor and employment lawyers
Any counsel with an interest in professional sports and the legal issues involved with the same

What You Will Learn
Background on the American Needle case
Licensing basics for merchandising and products, including the benefits and drawbacks for exclusive licenses
Current state of antitrust law
How the courts treat professional sports leagues
Collective bargaining basics as related to professional sports leagues
We hope you can watch our panel discussion. For more info, click here.