Intellectual Property Antitrust

Perhaps one of the most difficult areas in antitrust counseling and litigation today is the intersection between intellectual property and antitrust. David Balto assisted in the development of the FTC/DOJ Intellectual Property Antitrust Guidelines in 1996. In his tenure at the FTC, he assisted in the litigation of numerous IP antitrust cases, including the Intel monopolization case and the Dell Computer standard setting case.

David Balto frequently counsels firms on patent assertion entities, standards setting, licensing, and patent pool issues. His brief in the Broadcom/Qualcomm case on behalf of American Antitrust Institute and the Consumer Federation of America was favorably cited by the Third Circuit in its decision.


White Papers, Comments, and Letters


April 25, 2015 -- David Balto and Matthew Lane release their white paper The Music Industry as a Case Study for Enabling Disruptive Innovation in Consolidated Markets.

October 24, 2014 -- David Balto presents his working paper The Antitrust Enforcement Risks of Defensive Patent Pools at the AIPLA annual meeting.

December 16, 2013 -- David Balto offers Public comments supportive of FTC 6(b) study on behalf of FMI.

December 16, 2013 -- David Balto offers Public comments supportive of FTC 6(b) study on behalf of NRA.

May 9, 2013 -- David Balto releases paper calling for increased vigilance and enforcement by the antitrust agencies to ensure that patent pools and similar collective pooling and IP licensing arrangements properly fulfill their procompetitive purposes for the benefit of licensors, licensees and consumers alike. View here.

April 5, 2013 -- David Balto offers public comments to the FTC and DOJ on patent assertion entities.  View here  

February 22, 2013 -- David Balto submits Public Comments on In the Matter of Motorola Mobility LLC.


Amicus Briefs



November 11, 2014 - Smart patent reform needs to enable market solutions, The Hill.

September 17, 2014 - An Effective Referee for the Internet, Huffington Post.

June 10, 2014 - Anything Can Happen in a World Where Innovation, Not Government Intervention, Rules, Huffington Post.

May 30, 2014 - Son's Cloudy Outlook on U.S. Broadband, Huffington Post.

May 15, 2014 - A Regulatory Step Backward: FCC Should Not Treat Broadband as a Common Carrier, Roll Call

May 14, 2014 - FTC Streamlines Patent Troll Study, Patent Progress.

April 15, 2014 - Comcast-Time Warner Cable Deal, Letter to the Editor, New York Times.

March 10, 2014 - Softbank's Pitch to Regulators Paints False Picture of U.S. Wireless, Huffington Post.

March 1, 2014 - European Commission's Investigation of Google Can't Become a Song That Never Ends, Huffington Post.

February 7, 2014 - Consumer Protections Alive and Well Under Wheeler FCC, re/code.

January 17, 2014 - Like Referees, FCC Should Avoid Picking Sides in Spectrum Auctions, Bloomberg BNA.

January 7, 2014 - Patent pool abuse deserves scrutiny, The Baltimore Sun.

November 27, 2013 - Dear Congress: Don't Take Away the FTC's Best Tool for Fighting Patent Trolls, Huffington Post (Commenting on the usefulness of Section 5 for combatting patent trolls).

November 13, 2013 -The FTC: a Tough Data Security Cop, Huffington Post (Supporting the FTC focusing on data security cases)

October 1, 2013 - FTC to Shine a Light on Patent Troll Practices, The Hill (Supporting the FTC’s 6(b) study).

 September 30, 2013 - Time to Put a Spotlight on Patent Trolls, Patent Progress (Supporting the FTC’s 6(b) study).

 September 16, 2013 - State-Sponsored Patent Trolls Signal New Form of Protectionism, Roll Call (Warning about state-sponsored PAEs that could cause problems for multinational firms).

 August 29, 2013 - New Paper Proves the Danger of Bottom Feeder Trolls, Patent Progress (Commenting on the patent troll business model).

August 23, 2013 - Trolls Aren't Welcome in Lake Wobegon, Patent Progress (Supporting Minnesota’s settlement with patent troll MPHJ).

June 28, 2013 - Call on the FTC to Fix the Patent Litigation Mess and Patent Privateering, Huffington Post (Encouraging the FTC to go after patent privateering).

June 3, 2013 - Using the Antitrust Laws to Police Patent Privateering, Patently O (Encouraging the antitrust enforcement agencies to go after patent privateering).

May 23, 2013 - Baseball has the Best Rules: Using Arbitration to Solve FRAND Disputes, Essential Patent Blog.

April 12, 2013 - As Congress and Enforcers Contemplate Patent Trolls, Don't Forget about Privateering, Huffington Post. (David Balto Stresses that Congress and regulators shouldn't forget about patent privateering).  

April 5, 2013 - Using the Full Powers of the FTC to Combat Patent Trolls, Patent Progress.  (David Balto argues the FTC should use its full panoply of powers to attack the patent troll problem).

April 1, 2013 - Actavis Case Shows Weak Patents Are System-Wide, Patent Progress. 

March 29, 2013 - Time for Transparency on Microsoft's Patent Troll Privateering, Economic Intelligence.

March 6, 2013 - Edith Ramirez is a Fantastic Choice for FTC Chairman, Patent Progress.

March 4, 2013 - Forging a SHIELD Against Patent Trolls, The Hill.

March 1, 2013 - When Patent Pools Attack: Competitive Concerns from the Devolution of MPEG LA, Patently-O.

February 7, 2013 - A History of Abuse, Patent Progress.   

February 7, 2014 - Consumer Protection Alive and Well Under Wheeler FCC, Re/Code.

January 7, 2014 - Patent pool abuse deserves scrutiny, The Baltimore Sun.

January 4, 2013 - The FTC Google Settlement on Essential Patents Rewards Good Faith Bargaining, Huffington Post.