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May 24, 2010.
ANTITRUST & TRADE REGULATION, COMMERCIAL LAW, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, SPORTS LAW, TRADEMARK American Needle, Inc. v. Nat’l Football League, No. 08–661 In an antitrust action challenging the NFL’s grant to Reebok of an exclusive license to create apparel incorporating the NFL’s intellectual property, the Seventh Circuit’s affirmance of summary judgment for defendants is reversed where the alleged conduct related to licensing of intellectual property constituted concerted action that was not categorically beyond the coverage of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. ..
ATTORNEY’S FEES, CIVIL PROCEDURE, ERISA, HEALTH LAW, INSURANCE LAW, LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW Hardt v. Reliance Std. Life Ins. Co., No. 09–448 In an action alleging that defendant violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) by wrongfully denying her benefits claim, the Fourth Circuit’s order vacating the district court’s award of attorney’s fees to plaintiff is reversed where: 1) a fee claimant need not be a “prevailing party” to be eligible for an attorney’s fees award under 29 U.S.C. section 1132(g)(1); and 2) a court may award fees and costs under section 1132(g)(1), as long as the fee claimant has achieved some degree of success on the merits.