Antitrust ruling hinges on Supreme Courts' definition of "market

In NFL v. American Needle the Supreme Court just ruled against the National Football League and their exclusive apparel licensing deal with Reebok/Adidas—an antitrust decision that allows the 32 separate teams to create more of their own apparel licenses.

This antitrust decision might not be of interest to business appraisers and IP owners except that the Court defined the antitrust “market” solely on the basis of IP.   All antitrust violations involve a market, the Court argued, and here, they identified that as consumers of licensed IP.

“Directly relevant here, the teams are potentially competing suppliers in the market for intellectual property.  When teams license such property, they are not pursing the common interest of the whole league, but, instead, the interests of each corporation itself.”