Intellectual Property lawyer
Jun 27 2018 0

Understanding California’s Cartwright Act

Antitrust law occasionally clashes with certain intellectual property laws, often resulting in significant disagreements between parties. The United States Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issue antitrust guidelines for the licensing of intellectual property, but it can still be extremely confusing for many to determine when antitrust laws apply to intellectual property transactions.

Do you think that you or your company may be involved in a possible antitrust issue relating to intellectual property in Southern California? You will want to contact Leiva Law Firm as soon as possible.

Our experienced business litigation attorneys represent clients all over the greater Los Angeles area. Call (818) 703-1777 to schedule a free consultation.

California State Antitrust Law

Intellectual Property lawyerThe Cartwright Act is essentially California’s state version of the federal Sherman Antitrust Act and Clayton Antitrust Act. The Cartwright Act is codified under California Business and Professions Code §§ 16700-16770.
The Cartwright Act is largely similar to the Sherman Act, but key differences exist between the two concerning mergers and monopolization. Some of the actions prohibited under the Cartwright Act that are not prohibited by federal law include:

  • Price Fixing
  • Group Boycotting
  • Market Division Scheme
  • Exclusive Dealings
  • Price Discrimination
  • Tying

The Unfair Practices Act and Unfair Competition Act are two other state antitrust laws contained in the California Business and Professions Code. California does recognize certain defenses to antitrust claims, some of which are derived from California statutes and others taken from common law.

Statutory affirmative defenses to antitrust claims may include government bodies as the Cartwright Act applies only to people, the federal “filed rate” doctrine, labor union activities, agricultural cooperative associations, acts done in compliance with the Public Utilities Code, acts done by a natural gas producers association, and nonprofit occupations with public service aspects. There is a four-year statute of limitations on Cartwright Act claims.

Common law affirmative defenses to antitrust claims include the Noerr-Pennington Doctrine, primary jurisdiction, the doctrine of in pari delicto, or indirect purchasers.

Antitrust claims are often complex. People must first determine whether they are considered direct or indirect purchasers, and in some cases, they may be both.

In certain cases, it may be more advantageous to pursue a class action lawsuit while independent action may be most beneficial in other cases. Finally, it is important to review all possible issues relating to state and federal antitrust laws.

Many companies are completely lost about how to proceed with potential antitrust law violations. An experienced attorney can review your case and identify the best possible course of action that provides the most favorable outcome for you and your business.

Find a Business Litigation Lawyer in California

If you think that you might be involved in a possible antitrust issue in Southern California,  it is in your best interest to quickly seek legal representation. The Leiva Law Firm helps clients in communities in and around Los Angeles.

Marlene Leiva has over a quarter-century of legal experience. She can provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call (818) 703-1777 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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