An article published in volume 86 of the Tulane Law Review discussing the tension between trademark protections and licensing of the intellectual property of sports teams has been selected for publication in the annual Intellectual Property Law Review.
In selecting From Dallas Cap to American Needleand Beyond: Antitrust Law’s Limited Capacity to Stitch Consumer Harm from Professional Sports Club Trademark Monopolies by Professor Matthew J. Mitten, the Intellectual Property Law Review‘s Editor Karen B. Tripp noted that the article represented “one of the best law review articles related to intellectual property law published within the last year.”
Professor Mitten wrote the article for the Review‘s symposium issue on sports and antitrust law issues. Specifically, Professor Mitten examined the United States Supreme Court decision of American Needle, Inc. v. NFL, and its impact on “increasing legal protection for sports team trademarks” and “collective exclusive licensing of professional sports team trademarks.”1
Ultimately, Professor Mitten concluded that extending trademark protection amounted to consumer harm, requiring “the collective granting of exclusive product category licenses . . . be invalidated under the quick-look rule of reason because this restraint has clear anticompetitive effects that are not necessary to achieve legitimate procompetitive justifications and/or which may be achieved by a substantially less restrictive alternative.”2
The reprinting of Professor Mitten’s Article will appear in the 2013 edition of the Intellectual Property Law Review. The full text is also available online via Westlaw, LexisNexis, and HeinOnline (links are available here.)