Supreme Court Case May Impact EA's NFL Exclusive

March 5, 2009 -

A non-gaming case currently before the United States Supreme Court stands to have a massive impact on the video game industry.

The case is American Needle vs New Orleans Saints, et al. Should the Supreme Court find in favor of plaintiff American Needle, an apparel manufacturer, EA's exclusive NFL licensing deal and Take-Two's third-party exclusive with Major League Baseball could be found in violation of federal antitrust (i.e., monopoly) statutes. Such a determination would free other publishers to make games based on the NFL and MLB.

SCOTUSblog, which tracks happenings before the Supreme Court, reports on the case:

The NFL used to license American Needle to sell hats that bore the logos, the names or other insignia of pro football teams... But, in 2000, the NFL opted to solicit bids for an exclusive license to produce caps and other headwear.  Reebok won the bidding, and in 2001 got an exclusive ten-year license.  American Needle’s license was not renewed. So it sued the NFL, all of its teams, NFL Properties, and Reebok.

American Needle’s case was thrown out by lower courts... “The [Supreme] Court has stated, on more than one occasion,” American Needle asserted, “that application of the Sherman Act to professional sports teams is wholly consistent with Congressional inent...”

What happened to American Needle in relation to apparel is essentially what happened to Take-Two in regard to its excellent NFL2K series when EA scored its exclusive license with the NFL in 2004.

Attorneys for EA are clearly tracking the American Needle case. The phrase "American Needle" appears nine times in a transcript of arguments made by attorneys last November in Pecover vs. Electronic Arts, a class-action suit which alleges that consumers were hurt by EA's NFL exclusive (see: Spirited Courtroom Argument Highlights Madden Monopoly Case).

SCOTUSblog reports that the Supreme Court has requested government lawyers to weigh in on the case.


Comments

Re: Supreme Court Case May Impact EA's NFL Exclusive

I'm Rooting for the Exclusivity Deals to be dropped by the supreme court(That'll Teach EA and T2 a lesson for hogging the NFL and MLB)

Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

America has just became its own version of the Jerry Springer Show after a bizarre moment in Florida involving a carnival worker.

Re: Supreme Court Case May Impact EA's NFL Exclusive

This wouldn't be a good thing.

It's the same as saying that McDonalds has no right to the Big Mac.

Private Bussiness is private the last thing we need in this time is more branches of government saying what can and can't be done, and guess what this works for these industries since the NFL,EA, or Take 2 haven't asked for a bailout.

Re: Supreme Court Case May Impact EA's NFL Exclusive

I'd love to see these exclusive deals get dissolved. Take Two has done an awful job with the MLB license on 360, and I'd love to see "The Show" come to 360. 

Bottom line is that competition creates better products. I'm all for that.

Re: Supreme Court Case May Impact EA's NFL Exclusive

Um, shouldn't the NFL have the right to say who can and can't use their IP?

Re: Supreme Court Case May Impact EA's NFL Exclusive

Wouldn't the NFL teams, players, and logos, fall under IP? IP holders have a right to give exclusive rights to anyone they so choose.

Re: Supreme Court Case May Impact EA's NFL Exclusive

I think the use of the players, teams and logos for the purpose of a football-themed... thing... is protected by the IP.

| XBOX LIVE GamerTag: Harry Miste | Steam ID: Harry Miste | PSN ID: HarryMiste | Needs a thesaurus. |

| XBOX LIVE GamerTag: Harry Miste | Steam ID: Harry Miste | PSN ID: HarryMiste |

Re: Supreme Court Case May Impact EA's NFL Exclusive

I believe it counts as IP, but EA has exclusive deals with the NFL and the NFLPA (as well as the coaches union I believe); the former for the use of the team logos, stadiums, etc. and the latter to use the names of the players.

Re: Supreme Court Case May Impact EA's NFL Exclusive

I think the Supreme court Justices are going to make fun of the fact that EA held a monopoly on NFL games Heres the possiblility

John Roberts: We the court has found that American needle has been found in violation of the Sherman and Clayton Acts and therefore we demand that the company should be split up

EA & T2: We're F@**ED, we may have to share the license of MLB and NFL now

END TSG-esce courtroom reenactment

Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

America has just became its own version of the Jerry Springer Show after a bizarre moment in Florida involving a carnival worker.

Re: Supreme Court Case May Impact EA's NFL Exclusive

"Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony"

Hm... I guess they can make a point there. I wonder what statements those are though.

Re: Supreme Court Case May Impact EA's NFL Exclusive

I don't think that the EA+NFL or 2K+MLB suit would work out because it's a temporary exclusive. On top of that, I belive for any anti-trust suit to pass through the product being tested must also prove to be necessary for moderen society. The previous anti-trust suits are on the following of two basis. Lack of competition+Need for modern society. With Oil there is an obvious need for that product in modern society, with phones there was a need for it in modern society, and for OS software there is a need for it in modern society. NFL and MLB does not fill this area, so I highly doubt it will go through.

Re: Supreme Court Case May Impact EA's NFL Exclusive

The deal before the courts involves a temporary exclusive, though.

Re: Supreme Court Case May Impact EA's NFL Exclusive

I'm sure there will be a counterclaim though if it doesnt pass.

Re: Supreme Court Case May Impact EA's NFL Exclusive

which means this probebly wont pass.

 
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james_fudgeQuiknkold: Let me ask you- how many of those 'gamers are dead' articles did you see here? Because apparently i'm part of some vast conspiracy.09/18/2014 - 5:18am
NeenekoAh, that old straw man. That is one of the ironies about the discussion, the whole point is showing how good people can still have problems with sexism and not realize it.09/17/2014 - 9:11pm
Andrew EisenYes, there have been a handful of op-eds suggesting that the term “gamer” has become tainted (two that I know of) but that’s the opinion of only a few. I've seen an equal number from those who disagree.09/17/2014 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenExcept, you haven't provided a single example of a site that’s actually calling gamers a "collective of Sexist White Bigoted Basement Dwelling Manchildren."09/17/2014 - 8:55pm
TechnogeekIf you want to make the stereotype of gamers less painful, try calling people out when they do bad shit rather than handwave it away as "not all gamers". Even if it is a few bad apples, that'll still more than enough to spoil the barrel.09/17/2014 - 8:53pm
quiknkoldI'm not going to Sell Gamergate anymore. It can sell itself. But I will sell the integrity of the Gamer. That we are still good people, who create and donate to charitys, Who engage with those around us and just want to have a good time.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldpeople should not be harrassed and punished for the actions of a few. I've always welcomed and accepted everybody who wanted to join in. Who wanted to make them, or play them. I love good strong female protagonists, and want more.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldOne of the tennants of Gamergate is to stand up against Harrassment. That Gamers arent like those assholes. We can argue for days if the Sexism or Antifeminism or corruption is there or not, But the one thing I believe in and wear on my sleave is that09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldBut there were these websites, attacking me and people like me, for the actions of a few. and then others joined in on Twitter and other places. there was a hashtag that said "explain in 4 words a gamer" and it made me sick.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldManchildren who are awful people and that the Identity of the Gamer should die. This hurt me personally. I've always identified as a Gamer. Even in my childhood years, I was a Gamer. All my friends are Gamers. Its one of the core parts of my identity.09/17/2014 - 7:34pm
quiknkoldUltimately, With the whole Gamergate thing, I jumped on it due to the harassment. A small number of assholes harrass Anita and Zoe, and then all the publications lumped together Gamers as this collective of Sexist White Bigoted Basement Dwelling09/17/2014 - 7:34pm
quiknkoldEZacharyKnight : Lemme ask you a question. We have people who cling to walls, people who fire lasers from their eyes, people who can shapeshift....and yet fabric needs to be upheld to RL physics?09/17/2014 - 6:54pm
james_fudgebody paint?09/17/2014 - 5:33pm
E. Zachary Knightquiknkold, I stand corrected on the buttcrack thing. Still, I know of no fabric that actually does that.09/17/2014 - 5:05pm
Andrew EisenSo... it's unethical to discuss the ethics surrounding public interest vs. personal privacy?09/17/2014 - 4:45pm
prh99The source for the game was just released not long ago, it's at https://github.com/keendreams/keen09/17/2014 - 4:43pm
prh99An Indiegogo champagin bought the rights to the early 90's game Keen Dreams to make it open source and release it on GOG etc. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/let-s-get-keen-dreams-re-released-legally09/17/2014 - 4:42pm
james_fudgeAlso http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/09/17/Exposed-the-secret-mailing-list-of-the-gaming-journalism-elite09/17/2014 - 4:29pm
Andrew EisenI read the Kotaku story. Nowhere does it say anything close to "Gamers are white bigoted sexist losers." It's commenting specifically on the crap being slung at people discussing gender issues in games. So, what's the problem?09/17/2014 - 4:06pm
Andrew EisenYeah, I can imagine Spiderwoman posed like in your second link.09/17/2014 - 4:00pm
 

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