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 117

Pages

Minn-Chem, Inc. v. Agrium, Inc.

Citation Number: 10-1712
Federal Court: U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
Date:
Joint brief of the United States and the Federal Trade Commission, as amici curiae, before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, sitting en banc. The brief addresses the reach of U.S. antitrust law over international restraints of trade, urging the court of appeals to rule that the "import commerce" exception in the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act is not limited to conduct that specifically targets U.S. import commerce, and that the statute's "direct effects" exception is not limited to effects that follow as an immediate consequence of the challenged conduct.

Fein, Such, Kahn & Shepard, PC v. Allen

Citation Number: 10-1417
Federal Court: Supreme Court of the United States
Date:
Brief of the United States as amicus curiae, in which both the FTC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau joined, urging the Supreme Court to deny a writ of certiorari and let the ruling of the court of appeals stand. The brief argues that the court of appeals correctly rejected a debt collector's argument that its communications to a consumer's attorney were categorically excluded from the coverage of section 808(1) of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

St. Joseph Abbey, et al. v. Castille, et al.

Citation Number: 11-30756
Federal Court: U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Date:

Brief of the Federal Trade Commission, as amicus curiae, submitted to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in a case challenging Louisiana state restrictions on the sale of caskets. The brief does not take a position on the constitutionality of those restrictions, but refutes the argument that the policies of the Commission's Funeral Rule support restrictions of this sort.

Martha Vassalle, et al. v. Midland Funding, LLC, et al.

Citation Number: 3:11-cv-00096
Federal Court: Northern District of Ohio
Date:
Amicus Brief of the Federal Trade Commission before the Northern District of Ohio, expressing concerns that the proposed class action settlement agreement preliminarily approved by the Court is unfair to consumers and should be rejected. The proposed settlement agreement includes a “Class Release” provision that the FTC argues could deprive over a million consumers of their existing rights to challenge improper judgments entered against them, to defend themselves in ongoing debt collection actions, and to vindicate violations of collections laws in state and federal court by the Defendants. In exchange for losing these substantive rights, under the proposed settlement consumers would only receive a nominal payment, capped at $10, if they filed a claim form. The FTC further argues that the proposed settlement exposes consumers to additional harm because it does not restrict the ability of the Defendants to use or sell class members’ contact and personal bank information disclosed in the claims process.

In re K-Dur Antitrust Litigation

Citation Number: 10-2077, 10-2078, 10-2079
Federal Court: U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Date:

Amicus brief before the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, supporting plaintiffs/appellants and urging reversal of a decision by the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. That decision dismissed federal antitrust claims brought by direct and indirect purchasers of the drug K-Dur, a blood pressure medication. Plaintiffs alleged that, when K-Dur’s manufacturer, Schering Plough Corp., settled patent infringement litigation that it had brought against two generic drug companies, the settlement agreements, which restricted the generic companies from marketing their generic versions of K-Dur and provided for payments from Schering to the generic companies, violated the antitrust laws. The district court granted the drug companies’ motions for summary judgment on the grounds that the patent at issue trumped any application of the antitrust laws. In particular, the court held that there was no antitrust violation because the agreements settling the infringement litigation applied only to the generic versions of K-Dur, and did not restrict the marketing of those generics beyond the expiration date of Schering’s patent. In its amicus brief, the Commission argues that the district court’s decision is inconsistent with the antitrust laws and the Hatch-Waxman Act. The Commission further argues that such exclusion-payment settlements should be treated as presumptively unlawful.

TiVo, Inc. v. EchoStar Corporation, Echostar DBS Corporation, Echostar Technologies Corporation, Echosphere Limited Liability Company, Echostar Satellite LLC, and Dish Network Corporation

Citation Number: 2009-1374
Federal Court: U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
Date:

Brief of the Federal Trade Commission as amicus curiae, before the en banc United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in a case concerning the standards applicable when a patentee moves for contempt of a previously-entered injunction against acts of infringement. A divided Federal Circuit panel held that a district court had properly evaluated Echostar’s post-judgment conduct in contempt proceedings, and that it infringed TiVo’s patents despite its design-around efforts. The FTC’s brief supports neither of the parties, but urges the Federal Circuit, when crafting the standards for triggering contempt rather than requiring a new infringement trial, to consider how making summary contempt proceedings and contempt sanctions too easily available could dampen incentives for follow-on innovation, while at the same time, enforceable injunctions can also be an important prerequisite to innovation and entry.

Arkansas Carpenters Health and Welfare Fund, et. al v. Bayer AG, et. al (In re Ciprofloxacin Hydrochloride Antitrust Litigation)

Citation Number: 05-2851 & 05-2852
Federal Court: U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Date:

An amicus brief in support of plaintiffs-appellants’ petition for rehearing en banc. The case concerns a court of appeals panel decision upholding the dismissal of an antitrust challenge to a Hatch-Waxman patent settlement. Because of the “exceptional importance” of the issues involved, however, the panel also invited appellants to file a petition for rehearing en banc, in order for the full court to reconsider a circuit precedent that bound the panel’s decision. The Commission argues that the earlier circuit decision, In re Tamoxifen Citrate Antitrust Litig., 466 F.3d 187 (2d Cir. 2005), was based on mistaken assumptions about the pharmaceutical industry, which has contributed to a proliferation of exclusion-payment settlements such as the one at issue in the current case, and that the Tamoxifen panel decision did not properly consider the Hatch-Waxman Act, which encourages challenges to pharmaceutical patents to facilitate the early entry of generic drugs. The Commission urges the court of appeals to rehear the current case en banc, in order to correct that earlier circuit precedent.

E.I. Du Pont De Nemours and Co. v. Kolon Industries, Inc.

Citation Number: 10-1103, 10-1275
Federal Court: U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fourth 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 Fourth Circuit, in support of vacatur and remand. The case involves the proper definition of the relevant geographic market in an antitrust counterclaim under Section 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 2, arising out of a trade dispute between the parties. The district court dismissed defendant’s counterclaim for failure to allege a proper geographic market, holding, as a matter of law, that a relevant geographic market in an antitrust case must be defined to include not only the locations of customers put at risk by the alleged anticompetitive conduct but also the locations of production for all supplies of the relevant product available to those customers. In their brief, the antitrust agencies urge the court of appeals to vacate the district court’s ruling and remand the case for further consideration of the sufficiency of defendant’s geographic market allegations under the proper legal standard.

Princo Corp. v. International Trade Commission

Citation Number: 2007-1386
Date:
Brief of the Federal Trade Commission as amicus curiae, before the en banc United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in a case concerning an appeal of an International Trade Commission order banning the import of certain compact discs on the grounds that the importer, Princo Corp., infringed patents held by Philips Corporation. A divided Federal Circuit panel had held that the patents were unenforceable because Philips committed “patent misuse” by conspiring with another company to impose licensing restrictions that had the effect of blocking the development of alternative technologies and stifling potential competition. The FTC’s brief supports neither of the parties, but urges the en banc Federal Circuit, to the extent it draws on antitrust law to address the “patent misuse” claim, to recognize that pro-competitive efficiencies may justify some competitive restraints, but only if they are reasonably necessary to enable the companies to engage in productive collaboration, such as a joint venture to develop new technologies. The brief also emphasizes that, under the flexible “rule of reason” analysis used in antitrust cases, some “inherently suspect” business practices may be deemed anticompetitive without any elaborate analysis of market power or proof of actual harm to competition.

Jerman v. Carlisle, McNellie, Rini, Kramer & Ulrich LPA, et al.

Citation Number: 08-1200
Federal Court: Supreme Court of the United States
Date:

Joint brief of the United States and the Federal Trade Commission as amicus curiae supporting petitioner, and urging reversal of a decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. That court held that the bona fide error defense of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(c), could apply not just to clerical or mathematical errors, but also to errors of law. The brief argues that errors of law do not satisfy the FDCPA’s requirements for a “bona fide error” because such errors are never “not intentional,” and because a debt collector cannot maintain procedures reasonably adapted to avoid errors of law. The brief also argues that the provision was based on an identical provision in the Truth in Lending Act, which excludes errors of law.

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 in a case concerning whether the National Football League and its member teams’ collective actions can be exempt from antitrust review under Section 1 of the Sherman Act, which prohibits unreasonable restraints of trade. The brief urges the Supreme Court to vacate the judgment of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which had upheld a district court’s summary judgment in favor of the NFL and its separately owned teams on the grounds that they function as a “single entity” when licensing and marketing their logos and trademarks under an exclusive licensing agreement with Reebok International Ltd. The brief states that the conduct of joint ventures, such as the NFL, is generally concerted action under Section 1. In discussing whether a sports league and its member teams should be deemed to function as a “single entity” for purposes of Section 1’s concerted action requirement, the brief demonstrates that such treatment is only appropriate if two conditions are satisfied. First, the teams and the league must have effectively and legitimately merged the relevant aspect of their operations, thereby eliminating actual and potential competition among the teams and between the teams and the league in that operational sphere; and second, the challenged restraint must not significantly affect actual or potential competition among the teams or between the teams and the league outside their merged operations. In addition to asking the Supreme Court to vacate the judgment, the brief asks that the case be remanded for further proceedings and application of the correct legal standard for single-entity analysis.

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.

Pages