Amicus Briefs

When a court considers a case whose outcome may affect consumers or competition, the FTC may file a “friend of the court” brief to provide information that can help the court make its decision in a way that protects consumers or promotes competition. To find a specific FTC brief, use the filters on this page.

Displaying 41 - 60 of 106

American Needle, Inc. v. National Football League, et al.

Citation Number: 08-661
Federal Court: Supreme Court of the United States
Date:

Joint brief of the United States and the Federal Trade Commission as amicus curiae urging the Supreme Court to deny certiorari in this case, in which the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that the National Football League (NFL) and its separately owned, member teams functioned as a “single entity” when licensing and marketing their logos and trademarks under an exclusive licensing agreement with Reebok International, Ltd. The plaintiff, American Needle, had alleged that the agreement was unlawful under Section 1 of the Sherman Act as concerted conduct in restraint of trade. The NFL and its members teams argued that their conduct was that of a “single entity” under the Copperweld doctrine (Copperweld Corp. v. Independence Tube Corp., 467 U.S. 752 (1984)). The brief argues that the case does not merit Supreme Court review because of an absence of a split among the courts of appeals and because it does not represent an appropriate vehicle for ruling whether a sports league and its member teams (or generally any joint venture and its participants) should be deemed to function as a “single entity.”

Altria Group, Inc., et al. v. Good, et al.

Citation Number: 07-562
Federal Court: Supreme Court of the United States
Date:

Joint brief of the United States and the Federal Trade Commission as amicus curiae before the Supreme Court, in support of respondents and urging affirmance of the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. That decision held that respondents’ claims under the Maine Unfair Trade Practices Act were not expressly preempted by the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act, or impliedly preempted by various actions taken by the Federal Trade Commission. Respondents alleged that, by describing two brands of cigarettes petitioners sold as “Lights” and “Lowered Tar and Nicotine,” petitioners falsely claimed that those brands were less harmful. In the brief, the agencies argue that respondents’ lawsuit would not undermine the Commission’s policies. The brief further explains that neither through industry guidance nor through consent agreements has the Commission ever required the disclosure of a brand’s tar and nicotine yields, or authorized the use of descriptors such as “Lights,” or “Lowered Tar and Nicotine.”

In re Ciprofloxacin Hydrochloride Antitrust Litigation

Citation Number: 08-1097
Date:

Amicus brief before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in support of appellants and urging reversal of a decision by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York dismissing plaintiffs-appellants' federal antitrust claims on the ground that defendants' challenged patent settlement agreement was immunized by the patent laws. The case, filed by direct and indirect purchasers of the wide-spectrum antibiotic drug ciprofloxacin hydrochloride (“Cipro”), involves agreements between defendants Bayer AG and its U.S. subsidiary Bayer Corporation – manufacturer of Cipro and assignee of U.S. Patent No. 4,670,444 which claims the active ingredient in Cipro – and generic manufacturers Barr Laboratories, Inc., The Rugby Group, Inc., Hoechst Marion Roussel, Inc., and Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Under the terms of those agreements (executed in January 1997), Bayer paid the generic companies approximately $398 million in exchange for their agreements not to manufacture any form of Cipro and for Barr’s agreement to terminate its challenge to Bayer's patent by converting its Abbreviated New Drug Application for a generic form of Cipro to permit Barr to market its generic drug only upon expiration of the ‘444 patent in December 2003. In its amicus brief, the Commission argues that the district court's ruling is not compelled by the patent laws, and it conflicts with fundamental antitrust principles.

In re DDAVP Direct Purchaser Antitrust Litigation

Citation Number: 06-5525
Federal Court: U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Date:

Joint brief of the United States and the Federal Trade Commission, as amici curiae before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in support of plaintiffs-appellants, who were direct purchasers of the prescription brand-name drug DDAVP. Plaintiffs had brought this putative class action under Section 4 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. § 15, alleging that defendants Ferring B.V. and Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Inc., who owned the patent for desmopressin acetate -- the active ingredient in DDAVP, and Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the patent's exclusive licensee in the United States, violated Section 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 2, by maintaining and enforcing a patent procured by intentional fraud on the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). In their brief, the antitrust agencies urge the court of appeals to reverse the district court's holding that plaintiffs lacked antitrust standing to bring monopolization claims against defendant drug manufacturers arising out of the manufacturers' maintenance and enforcement of a patent allegedly procured through intentional fraud on the PTO (a so-called "Walker Process" antitrust claim).

In re Petition for Review of Committee on Attorney Advertising Opinion 39

Citation Number: 60,003
Date:

Brief of the Federal Trade Commission, as amicus curiae, urging the New Jersey Supreme Court to vacate a ruling of the Committee on Attorney Advertising appointed by that Court, which had ruled that advertisements by attorneys publicizing their designation by organizations as “Super Lawyers,” “Best Lawyers in America,” or the like are impermissible. The Commission pointed to the beneficial effects that non-deceptive advertising by attorneys can have for consumers of legal services and the availability of other means of assuring that attorney ratings are not used deceptively. The Commission further urged the Court to amend its Rules of Professional Conduct to clarify that only false or misleading comparative advertisements by attorneys are prohibited.

Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC v. Billing

Citation Number: 05-1157
Federal Court: Supreme Court of the United States
Date:

Joint brief of the United States, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Securities and Exchange Commission, as amicus curiae, addressing the application of the antitrust laws to activities subject to SEC regulation. The brief argues that collaborative underwriting activities occurring during the initial public offering of securities that are expressly or implicitly authorized under the securities laws, as well as conduct inextricably intertwined with such activities, are immune from the antitrust laws. It also cautions that antitrust claims in the securities context must be carefully scrutinized to ensure that legitimate underwriting activities are not chilled by vague or conclusory allegations of impermissible conduct. At the same time, the brief cautions that not all underwriting activities occurring in connection with an initial public offering enjoys a blanket antitrust exemption. The brief urges the Court to vacate the lower court rulings, neither of which struck the appropriate balance between the interests of both the antitrust and securities laws.

Leegin Creative Leather Products, Inc. v. PSKS, Inc. d/b/a Kay's Kloset ... Kay's Shoes

Citation Number: 06-480
Federal Court: Supreme Court of the United States
Date:

Joint brief of the United States and the Federal Trade Commission, as amicus curiae, urging the Supreme Court to reverse a court of appeals ruling that declared unlawful per se a minimum resale price maintenance (RPM) agreement between defendant manufacturer and its plaintiff-retailer, in reliance on Dr. Miles Medical Co. v. John D. Park & Sons Co., 220 U.S. 373 (1911). In the brief, the agencies argue that the rule of Dr. Miles -- the only remaining per se prohibition against vertical restraints -- should be overturned in light of the Supreme Court's modern antitrust jurisprudence, which employs the rule of reason as the primary analytical framework in Section 1 cases, and the current economic teaching, which recognizes the potentially mixed competitive effects of RPM agreements.

Safeco Ins. Co. v. Burr; GEICO Gen. Ins. Co. v. Edo

Citation Number: 06-84, 06-100
Date:

Joint brief of the United States and the Federal Trade Commission, as amici curiae in these consolidated cases, urging vacatur and remand in Safeco, and reversal in GEICO. The brief argues that, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the phrase “willful noncompliance” encompasses both knowing violations and reckless disregard for the law. The brief also argues that an insurance company must provide an applicant with an adverse action notice whenever that company offers a consumer a higher rate than it would have offered if the consumer’s report had been more favorable.

Weyerhaeuser Co. v. Ross-Simmons Hardwood Lumber Co.

Citation Number: 05-381
Federal Court: Supreme Court of the United States
Date:

Joint brief of the United States and the Federal Trade Commission, as amici curiae, urging the Supreme Court reverse a court of appeals ruling that the standard for a predatory pricing claim articulated by the Supreme Court in Brooke Group Ltd v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., 509 U.S. 209 (1993), did not apply to a case in which the plaintiff alleged “predatory bidding” in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act, and approved instructions that allowed a jury to find a violation based on subjective assessments of factors such as “fairness” and “necessity.” The brief argues that the economic and prudential concerns that underlie the Supreme Court’s decision in Brooke Group also apply to claims of predatory bidding, and that the court of appeals therefore erred in holding that a plaintiff need not show that the defendant suffered a loss in the short term or that it had a dangerous probability of recouping its losses in the long term.

Latino Quimica-Amtex S.A., et al. v. Atofina S.A. et al.

Citation Number: 05-5754-cv
Federal Court: U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Date:

Joint brief of the United States and the Federal Trade Commission, as amici curiae, addressing the proper application of the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act where a foreign plaintiff's claimed injury from an alleged antitrust conspiracy does not arise from the effects of that conspiracy on U.S. commerce. This brief was provided in response to an order from the Second Circuit. It argues that the district court properly dismissed plaintiffs' complaint for lack of jurisdiction, and that plaintiffs' claims represent an attempt to expand the Sherman Act's scope that is contrary to the FTAIA.

Weyerhaeuser Co. v. Ross-Simmons Hardwood Lumber Co

Citation Number: 05-381
Federal Court: Supreme Court of the United States
Date:

Joint brief of the United States and the Federal Trade Commission, as amici curiae, urging the Supreme Court to grant certiorari in this case, in which the court of appeals held that the standard for a predatory pricing claim articulated by the Supreme Court in Brooke Group Ltd v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., 509 U.S. 209 (1993), did not apply to a case in which the plaintiff alleged “predatory bidding” in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act, and approved instructions that allowed a jury to find a violation based on subjective assessments of factors such as “fairness” and “necessity.” The brief argues that the economic and prudential concerns that underlie the Supreme Court’s decision in Brooke Group also apply to claims of predatory bidding, and that the court of appeals therefore erred in holding that a plaintiff need not show that the defendant suffered a loss in the short term or that it had a dangerous probability of recouping its losses in the long term.

Whitfield v. Radian Guaranty, Inc

Citation Number: 05-5017
Federal Court: U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Date:

In this amicus brief supporting consumers a case under Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"), the The Commission argues that the district court erred in holding that a mortgage insurance company was not required to provide a consumer with an FCRA adverse action notice even though, as a result of information in a consumer report, the insurance company charged a higher premium for mortgage insurance, and that premium was paid by the consumer. The brief explains that the FCRA requires such a notice because the insurance company's action relates to the consumer, even though the consumer is not the beneficiary of the policy. The brief further explains that a balancing test applied by the district court is contrary to the FCRA's requirements.

Chavez v. Netflix, Inc.

Citation Number: CGC-04-434884
Date:

In this amicus brief opposing a proposed settlement of a class action by Netflix customers, the Commission raises two concerns. First, because the settlement involves limited-time free service or service upgrades that automatically continue at the consumer’s expense unless cancelled, it would serve more as a promotional vehicle for Netflix than a means of providing redress to consumers, and could leave some consumers in a worse position than if they had decided not to participate. Second, the notice to class members does not adequately inform them about the existence of the negative option, and the settlement agreement does not require disclosure of the terms of the negative option plan and fails to specify how consumers can cancel.

In re Tamoxifen Citrate Antitrust Litigation

Citation Number: 03-7641
Federal Court: U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Date:

An amicus brief in support of plaintiffs-appellants’ petition for panel rehearing and rehearing en banc. The case concerns a decision by a divided panel of the appeals court upholding the dismissal, pursuant to FRCP 12(b)(6), of an antitrust challenge to a Hatch-Waxman patent settlement between AstraZeneca, the manufacturer of a branded drug, and Barr Labs., an FDA applicant for a generic counterpart. The Commission argues that the panel did not properly consider the Hatch-Waxman Act, which encourages challenges to pharmaceutical patents to facilitate the early entry of generic drugs, and that, if not corrected, the panel decision would permit the holder of a challenged drug patent to harm competition, and thus consumers, substantially by impermissibly paying a would-be generic rival to stay off the market.

Texaco, Inc. v. Dagher

Citation Number: 04-805
Federal Court: Supreme Court of the United States
Date:

Joint brief of the United States and the Federal Trade Commission, as amici curiae, urging the Supreme Court to reverse a ruling of the court of appeals, which had held that an agreement between two owners of a joint venture, regarding the prices of products to be sold by the joint venture, in markets in which the partners themselves no longer participated, could constitute a per se violation of the Sherman Act.

Illinois Tool Works, Inc. v. Independent Ink, Inc.

Citation Number: 04-1329
Federal Court: Supreme Court of the United States
Date:

Joint brief of the United States, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Patent and Trademark Office, as amici curiae, urging the Court to reverse the ruling of the court of appeals, which was based on a presumption that the possession of a patent conveys market power for purposes of adjudicating a claim of tying.

Texaco, Inc. v. Dagher

Citation Number: 04-805
Federal Court: Supreme Court of the United States
Date:

Joint brief of the United States and the Federal Trade Commission, as amici curiae, urging the Supreme Court to grant certiorari in this case, in which the court of appeals held that an agreement between two owners of a joint venture, regarding the prices of products to be sold by the joint venture, in markets in which the partners themselves no longer participated, could constitute a per se violation of the Sherman Act.

Volvo Trucks North America, Inc. v. Reeder-Simco GMC, Inc.

Citation Number: 04-905
Date:

Joint brief of the United States and the Federal Trade Commission, as amici curiae, urging the Supreme Court to reverse the judgment of the court of appeals, which upheld a verdict of unlawful price discrimination, despite the fact that plaintiff lost sales not to ostensibly favored Volvo dealers, but to dealers for other brands.

Empagran, S.A. v. Hoffmann-LaRoche, Ltd.

Citation Number: 01-7115
Federal Court: U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
Date:

Joint brief of the United States and the Federal Trade Commission, as amici curiae, addressing the proper application of the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act. This brief, which was filed after the case was remanded by the Supreme Court, argues that plaintiff's so-called “alternative theory” of liability is legally insufficient to establish jurisdiction, and that the plaintiff’s complaint should be dismissed. The brief also argues that, even if there were jurisdiction, the case should be dismissed because plaintiff lacks standing.

Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Pfizer, Inc.

Citation Number: 04-1186
Date:

In this amicus brief in support of Teva’s combined petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc, the Commission argues that the court erred in affirming the district court’s dismissal of Teva’s complaint in this Hatch-Waxman Act case. The brief argues that the court applied the wrong test to assess jurisdiction under the Declaratory Judgment Act. The court only considered the likelihood that Teva would face a patent infringement suit, but failed to take account of the injury Teva will suffer. The brief argues that Teva will face injury even in the absence of a patent infringement suit because the FDA cannot approve Teva’s generic sertraline hydrochloride drug unless Teva can obtain a court decision regarding Pfizer’s patent.

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