Law360 turned to McGuireWoods antitrust lawyer Jonathan Lewis for context on a Feb. 8 story about the growing willingness of the Justice Department to intervene in private antitrust disputes.
In recent weeks, the DOJ’s Antitrust Division has sought permission from several courts to participate as an amicus in several private cases, with more requests in the pipeline, Law360 noted. Such interventions are a shift from the department’s historic practice of employing speeches and public statements to weigh in on contentious competition topics such as no-poach accusations and standard-essential patents (SEPs).
The story noted the division’s warning in a January court filing that a Swiss GPS device maker’s claims in an SEP action against a patent licensing firm are “troubling,” “extraordinary” and lack a proper legal basis. Lewis, who is based in McGuireWoods’ Washington, D.C., office, noted that the intervention appears to be “another way for the Antitrust Division to shape the narrative on how courts look at the application of antitrust law to … standard-essential patents.”