Quimbee logo with url
From our private database of 14,300+ case briefs...

American Needle, Inc. v. National Football League

United States Supreme Court
560 U.S. 183 (2010)


In 1963, the teams comprising the National Football League (NFL) (defendant) established the National Football League Properties (NFLP) to collectively license and develop the teams’ intellectual property. In 2000, the NFL teams decided to allow the NFLP to grant exclusive licensing agreements and awarded a 10-year exclusive license to Reebok International Ltd. (Reebok) (defendant) to make and sell headwear featuring the NFL teams’ logos and other intellectual property. American Needle, Inc. (American Needle) (plaintiff) brought a suit against the NFL, claiming that the exclusive licensing agreement between the NFL, the NFL teams, the NFLP, and Reebok violated the antitrust provisions of the Sherman Act. American Needle was a licensee of NFL merchandise prior to the NFL teams’ decision to allow exclusive licensing. In response, the NFL argued that the NFL was incapable of unlawfully conspiring with the NFLP and the NFL teams, because all three parties constituted a single economic entity.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Stevens, J.)

What to do next…

  1. 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.

  2. 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 256,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,300 briefs, keyed to 191 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.