NFL May Face Sherman Act Violations in American Needle Case

The AIPLA reported today on today’s Supreme Court decision that the National Football League cannot avoid antitrust liability for the activities of its trademark licensing entity by asserting the “single entity” doctrine, articulated in Copperweld Corp. v. Independence Tube Corp., 467 US 752 (1984). Unanimously reversing and remanding the Seventh Circuit, the Court held that forming a single licensing entity did not avoid antitrust exposure since the relevant inquiry is one of substance, not form. American Needle, Inc. v. National Football League.

So, to summarize, perhaps the NFL can’t be antitrusted.