American Needle, Inc. v. National Football League
United States Supreme Court
130 S.Ct. 2201 (2010)
Prior to 1963, the various teams within the National Football League (NFL) (defendant) made their own arrangements for licensing and marketing trademarked merchandise items such as caps and jerseys featuring the team’s logo and mark. In 1963, the teams formed the National Football League Properties (NFLP) to coordinate the development and licensing of the teams’ merchandise. Between 1963 and 2000, the NFLP granted nonexclusive licenses to a number of vendors, including American Needle, Inc. (plaintiff), to manufacture and sell apparel featuring team logos. In December 2000, however, the NFLP granted a 10-year exclusive license to Reebok to manufacture and sell trademarked gear for all 32 teams. American Needle’s license was not renewed. American Needle filed suit against the NFL alleging violations of §§ 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act. Specifically, American Needle claimed that the NFL and the NFLP conspired to restrict the distribution of the teams’ intellectual property rights. The district court granted the NFL’s motion for summary judgment. The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed. The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to review.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Stevens, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 166,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.