Price Fix Away?: Does the Supreme Court’s Decision in Leegin Creative Leather Products Strengthen the Ability of Businesses to Engage in Vertical Price Restraints with Impunity?

Erick S. Lee


The United States Supreme Court in recent years has taken an increased interest in patent law, making a number of key decisions in the areas of injunctions

1, licensing2, patentable subject matter3, and the standards of determining obviousness.4 In the current 2007-2008 term, the Court has already granted certiorari to consider the boundaries of the patent exhaustion doctrine; a case closely watched by legal commentators and observers.5 The Court's attention has also been drawn to the intersection of intellectual property law and antitrust law, with two cases in that legal realm having been recently decided. In Illinois Tool Works v. Independent Ink, the Court considered whether the presumption that patent owners have market power in the subject matter of their patents is "applicable in the antitrust context when a seller conditions its sale of a patented product . . . on the purchase of a second product."6

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