Four Years Later, Did the “New Madison Approach” to IP and Antitrust Promote Innovation?
In 2018, then-Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim announced with great fanfare the “New Madison Approach” to intellectual property and antitrust disputes, rejecting the application of antitrust law to licensing disputes involving Standards Essential Patents (SEPs) and announcing that SEP holders should be entitled to injunctive relief like any other patent holder. Many patent holders cheered this development, particularly after years of perceived weakening of their rights as patent holders. They celebrated this new policy as supportive of innovation and technology licensing. Others argued that this new approach would lead to hold-up abuses by SEP holders in licensing negotiations, or that hold-out behaviors by licensees were overstated. They argued that this would only spark additional costly litigation.
As the current administration continues to reevaluate its antitrust policies and rolls back some “New Madison” policies, an expert panel discussed the impact of these policies, including whether they did more to promote innovation or to spark unnecessary litigation, and examined upcoming issues in the areas of SEPs and Standards-Setting Organizations.