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Check out the coverage at ESPN.

Quote:
"WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court on Monday turned away the National Football League's request for broad antitrust law protection, ruling that the league can be considered 32 separate teams -- not one big business -- when it comes to selling branded items like jerseys and caps.
The high court unanimously reversed a lower court ruling throwing out an antitrust suit brought against the league by one of its former hat makers, who was upset that it lost its contract for making official NFL hats to Reebok.

American Needle, Inc. sued, claiming the league violated antitrust law because all 32 teams worked together to freeze it out of the NFL-licensed hatmaking business. The company lost and appealed to the Supreme Court but the NFL did as well, hoping to get broader protection from antitrust lawsuits.

Major League Baseball is the only professional sports league with broad antitrust protection. The National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, the NCAA, NASCAR, professional tennis and Major League Soccer supported the NFL in this case, hoping the high court would expand broad antitrust exemption to other sports.

The Supreme Court turned away the league's theory that its 32 teams operate as one business, and sent American Needle's antitrust lawsuit back to the lower court.

"Decisions by NFL teams to license their separately owned trademarks collectively and to only one vendor are decisions that 'deprive the marketplace of independent centers of decisionmaking ... and therefore of actual or potential competition," said the retiring Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the court."

Member Comments
# 1 djordan @ 05/24/10 10:16 AM
AND WERE OFF TO THE RACES!!!...........
 
# 2 RGiles36 @ 05/24/10 10:17 AM
I just caught this article myself...

I don't have my hopes up though. I don't know enough about the legal process to even remotely entertain the thought of Madden losing the exclusive license (which is all we care about).

I believe there was a user by the name of 'African' who seemed to be pretty well informed on the ramifications of this case. Be nice if he could chime in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aholbert32
"Decisions by NFL teams to license their separately owned trademarks collectively and to only one vendor are decisions that 'deprive the marketplace of independent centers of decisionmaking ... and therefore of actual or potential competition," said the retiring Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the court.
^^ This was the biggest statement made to gamers. But again, I don't think this will have any impact on the exclusive license being shredded. Unless, this makes it impossible for the EA/NFL to extend it.
 
# 3 sb24 @ 05/24/10 10:18 AM
WOW! Cant wait to see how it all plays out.
 
# 4 ryan36 @ 05/24/10 10:19 AM
Now it goes back to the lower court, where they will simply have to find/cite different precedent to uphold their previous ruling.
 
# 5 aholbert32 @ 05/24/10 10:20 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgiles36
I just caught this article myself...

I don't have my hopes up though. I don't know enough about the legal process to even remotely entertain the thought of Madden losing the exclusive license (which is all we care about).

I believe there was a user by the name of 'African' who seemed to be pretty well informed on the ramifications of this case. Be nice if he could chime in.



^^ This was the biggest statement made to gamers. But again, I don't think this will have any impact on the exclusive license being shredded. Unless, this makes it impossible for the EA/NFL to extend it.

I doubt that 2k or any competitor would file suit against the NFL but I think the NFL will be hesitant to extend the exclusive deal.
 
# 6 aholbert32 @ 05/24/10 10:21 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by pitchingcoach36
Now it goes back to the lower court, where they will simply have to find/cite different precedent to uphold their previous ruling.

I doubt that will happen. Kind of hard to get around this ruling. The high court made it clear that the NFL should be considered 32 different franchises...not one entity.
 
# 7 aholbert32 @ 05/24/10 10:22 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by patriotsk1d
I just read the article and all it means is each team will have to sell a liecence if the exclusive liecence went down.
What it means is that the NFL will be extremely hesitant to do exclusive deals in the future because it fears an antitrust suit.
 
# 8 ODogg @ 05/24/10 10:22 AM
This may not be as great of a thing as you guys think. I wonder if we'll see 2K licensing Buffalo Bills football with the Bills, Browns and other types of teams in the game but teams like the Patriots, Steelers and Cowboys missing. Will this mean individual teams can license out whatever they want and the NFL license is no longer needed?
 
# 9 RGiles36 @ 05/24/10 10:25 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ODogg
This may not be as great of a thing as you guys think. I wonder if we'll see 2K licensing Buffalo Bills football with the Bills, Browns and other types of teams in the game but teams like the Patriots, Steelers and Cowboys missing. Will this mean individual teams can license out whatever they want and the NFL license is no longer needed?
Gee, I hope not. Never say never though...

I imagine we'll see plenty of speculation on the part of law-making OSers over the next few days. Will be a treat to read if nothing else.
 
# 10 thudias @ 05/24/10 10:25 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ODogg
This may not be as great of a thing as you guys think. I wonder if we'll see 2K licensing Buffalo Bills football with the Bills, Browns and other types of teams in the game but teams like the Patriots, Steelers and Cowboys missing. Will this mean individual teams can license out whatever they want and the NFL license is no longer needed?

This is what i hope does not happen.
 
# 11 aholbert32 @ 05/24/10 10:25 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ODogg
This may not be as great of a thing as you guys think. I wonder if we'll see 2K licensing Buffalo Bills football with the Bills, Browns and other types of teams in the game but teams like the Patriots, Steelers and Cowboys missing. Will this mean individual teams can license out whatever they want and the NFL license is no longer needed?
When it comes to apparel that may be the case but I doubt that will bleed over into video games. Back in the day, you could buy Cowboys hats from Nike, Apex, Starter. Now its just Reebok. We will go back to the days of different hat makers making Cowboys hats.

For video games, its hard as hell to sell a game with only 10 real teams. What will probably happen is the NFL will go back to offering it license to more than one company. When that will happen is anyone's guess.
 
# 12 TheWatcher @ 05/24/10 10:34 AM
Thanks for posting this, aholbert32******** type=text/javascript> vbmenu_register("postmenu_2041093915", true); .

I can't believe they pulled it off. Incredible!
 
# 13 King_B_Mack @ 05/24/10 10:38 AM
This could be one of those bittersweet things. The only thing that would make it sweet would be seeing the elimination of exclusive licenses on these games. The bitter part would be that a company would have to seperately negotiate with each team in order to get them into their game. If I'm not mistaken about this, which I don't think I'am. We could all get what we want, but get something much worse at the same time.
 
# 14 kjcheezhead @ 05/24/10 10:39 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by aholbert32
When it comes to apparel that may be the case but I doubt that will bleed over into video games. Back in the day, you could buy Cowboys hats from Nike, Apex, Starter. Now its just Reebok. We will go back to the days of different hat makers making Cowboys hats.

For video games, its hard as hell to sell a game with only 10 real teams. What will probably happen is the NFL will go back to offering it license to more than one company. When that will happen is anyone's guess.
I think your right. With the ruling, a "Jerry Jones Football" featuring only the Cowboys is possible, or having a game with 31 teams and a generic "Dallas" team would be possible as well. More than likely developers will be able to secure all the teams for their games just as they have done in the past tho.
 
# 15 Chiefsfan881129 @ 05/24/10 10:43 AM
Anyone who gets excited over this news really should not be happy at this time as this is not good at all i dont care what people think about compentation right now yes it will make games better i will give u that but its not good at all i wish american needle would just drop the lawsuit the reason i am aginest this is not because i dont want compentation its because i simply cant afford 2 football games at there current price range and i am a big time football fan so for the short term future with the budgit i am on having this case won by american needle is not good for gamers likeme who are on budgits the exclusive must stay on till the ecomany is fixed anyway cya guys later
 
# 16 N51_rob @ 05/24/10 10:44 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by grunt
Wow, does this mean that large market teams can use the vendor of their choice?
I am by no means a leagal mind, but that is what I take from this. The return of Dallas Cowboy Apex hats for you!
 
# 17 Mbalmer @ 05/24/10 10:45 AM
Are there any lawyers here in the OS world that can shed some educated light on the subject? There has to be at least one, right?

I don't know how long the legal process takes and when, if this ruling makes it so, that other companies can start making NFL games. It would be cool if EA, 2K, Backbreaker, and even Sony and Microsoft could start making football games.

I hope someone with a legal background can come in here and let us know what all this means and what kind of time frame we are dealing with. I know the lower courts have to look at their ruling.
 
# 18 Mo @ 05/24/10 10:50 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbalmer
Are there any lawyers here in the OS world that can shed some educated light on the subject? There has to be at least one, right?

I don't know how long the legal process takes and when, if this ruling makes it so, that other companies can start making NFL games. It would be cool if EA, 2K, Backbreaker, and even Sony and Microsoft could start making football games.

I hope someone with a legal background can come in here and let us know what all this means and what kind of time frame we are dealing with. I know the lower courts have to look at their ruling.
I believe the OP has a legal background
 
# 19 Exonerated @ 05/24/10 10:51 AM
America Needle has not won yet. It's been sent back down to the lower courts. THe supreme court deals with matters of law. The lower courts deal with matters of facts.

Also, the legal process takes ages. From 2 to 6 to 12 months.

The other companies can start making football games only if or when the NFL's exclusive license is torn up.

I think the case with American Needle has little effect on the video gaming exclusive license though.

[thats my unprofessional analysis of the OP's blurb -- I should read the case now lol]
 
# 20 coogrfan @ 05/24/10 10:52 AM
I'm stunned, as is I imagine the NFL's legal team.
 

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