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Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly

Abstract

This Note discusses the implications of possible antitrust violations when Patent Assertion Entities (“PAEs”) enforce their vast patent portfolios against alleged infringers by forcing a license of the entire portfolio or threatening continuous and costly litigation. This Note analyzes this PAE conduct under antitrust laws, using Intellectual Ventures I, LLC v. Capital One Financial Corp. as an exemplar case study. Further, the Note explains that PAEs are not immune to antitrust counterclaims under the Noerr-Pennington doctrine because their anticompetitive conduct meets the standard for the “sham litigation” exception to the doctrine. Ultimately, this Note offers preventative solutions to this PAE anticompetitive conduct for both the PAE patent portfolio acquisition stage and PAE enforcement litigation stage.

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