David Balto

David Balto

David Balto is a public interest antitrust lawyer in Washington, DC.  He has over 15 years of government antitrust experience as a trial attorney in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice and in several senior level positions at the Federal Trade Commission. David was the Policy Director of the Bureau of Competition of the Federal Trade Commission (1998-2001) and attorney advisor to Chairman Robert Pitofsky (1995-1997). He was a senior advisor in all aspects of the FTC’s merger and non- merger enforcement program and helped litigate the challenges to the Staples/Office Depot, Drug Wholesalers, and Heinz/Beechnut mergers, the Intel monopolization case, and the challenges to anticompetitive conduct by several pharmaceutical companies.

David was involved in several key FTC cases involving high tech and IP including Dell Computer, Rambus, Intel, and several pharmaceutical mergers. David contributed to the FTC/DOJ Intellectual Property Guidelines and he authored several articles on IP antitrust issues.   He is the only individual to win the FTC Award for Outstanding Scholarship twice.

David frequently testifies before Congress on high tech competition issues.  He has authored amicus briefs in several antitrust and IP cases and his brief in Broadcom v. Qualcomm was favorably cited by the Third Circuit.


Posts by David Balto

FTC Streamlines Patent Troll Study

Yesterday the FTC announced that it has updated its proposed study on patent trolls and is sending the proposed study to OMB for approval. Not surprisingly the public overwhelmingly supported the study and no commenter opposed it. However, some commenters expressed concerns about the volume of information requested and the burden on businesses that would…

Time To Put A Spotlight On Patent Trolls

One of the key authors of the FTC Act, Louis Brandeis, wrote a century ago: “sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.”  There are probably few areas that need a strong dose of transparency as much as the conduct of patent trolls.  Patent trolls play on the…

New Paper Proves the Danger of Bottom Feeder Trolls

Erik Hovenkamp has authored a very interesting working paper comparing bottom feeder trolls (as we’ve seen here and here)  to the practice of predatory pricing. This paper will likely be very important to the patent debate for three reasons: (1) Legal rulings concerning the intersection of patent law and antitrust law are scarce, therefore it…

Trolls Aren’t Welcome in Lake Wobegon

We all know the virtues of Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon, a mythical town in rural Minnesota “where are the women are strong, all the men are good looking and all the children are above average.”  Well now we know something more, although the people are friendly and unceasingly humble, they aren’t hospitable to patent trolls.…

The End-Users Strike Back

As Josh Lamel noted the other day, end-users such as retailers, financial services, grocery stores, advertising, hotel industries, and even oil companies are coming out in droves to fight abusive patent troll tactics. The FTC has posted all 68 public comments submitted to its patent assertion entity workshop; a surprising number come from end-users. Patent…

Using the Full Powers of the FTC to Combat Patent Trolls

A century ago there was a lively debate in Congress over the enforcement of the antitrust laws.  Much of the 1912 presidential campaign had focused on the lack of effective antitrust enforcement by the Justice Department and the failure of the Sherman Act to stop growing anticompetitive conduct in the marketplace.  In 1913, Congress focused…

Actavis Case Shows Weak Patents Are System-Wide

Last week the Supreme Court heard arguments in FTC v. Actavis (transcript here). This case concerns a topic not normally covered on Patent Progress – pharmaceutical patents. Pharmaceutical patents are often held up as a poster child of the success of the patent system. Drugs have a high cost of invention and usually have a…

Edith Ramirez is a Fantastic Choice for FTC Chairman

On February 28th the White House announced that President Obama has selected current Commissioner Edith Ramirez as the new Chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission.  Chairwoman Ramirez is an excellent choice for antitrust enforcement generally, but is truly an ideal Chair for the FTC as it prepares to face the next generation of anti-competitive practices…

Patent Troll Panel Important for Competition Policy

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CCIA is hosting an important event on Thursday, February 28th entitled “How Patent Trolls are Harming Innovation.”  The event will take place in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, and will feature six prominent panelist offering different but harmonious opinions on the current state of the patent troll environment: Julie Samuels, Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid…

Previewing CLS Bank v. Alice

Tomorrow, February 8, the full Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“Federal Circuit”), who receives nearly all patent appeals, will hear oral arguments in CLS Bank v. Alice Corp.  This case could be a seminal case for the future of software patents, and so we will be doing a few posts on it.  This post…