Part III Administrative Complaint
An administrative law judge dismissed a complaint in its entirety against Union Oil of California that charged the company with committing fraud in connection with regulatory proceedings before the California Air Resources Board regarding the development of reformulated gasoline. The judge ruled much of Unocal’s conduct was permissible activity under the Noerr-Pennington doctrine and that the resolution of the issues outlined in the complaint would require an in depth analysis of patent law which he believed were not with the jurisdiction of the Commission. In July 2004, the Commission reversed the judge’s ruling and reinstated charges that Unocal illegally acquired monopoly power in the technology market for producing a “summer-time” low-emissions gasoline mandated for sale and use by the California Air Resources Board for use in the state for up to eight months of the year. While the case was pending before the administrative law judge, a consent agreement was signed.