By David Balto
David Balto has practiced antitrust law for over 20 years in the antitrust division of the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and in private practice. He is nationally known for his expertise in competition policy and is a prolific author on antitrust, consumer protection, financial services, intellectual property, and health care competition. Mr. Balto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The intersection of antitrust law and intellectual property law is at the core of many of the most important and high stakes litigated cases and enforcement efforts by the antitrust agencies. The antitrust enforcement agencies—the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States and the European Commission—spend a vast amount of their resources in bringing cases involving the exercise or acquisition of intellectual property (IP) rights. Some of the most high-profile competitive disputes involve both IP and antitrust law. Prudent IP lawyers know the value of securing antitrust advice, especially when dealing with potential transactions or potential litigation. This article outlines when IP lawyers should seek out the advice of their antitrust colleagues in order to avoid antitrust pitfalls.