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

A History of Abuse

The U.S. patent system is almost as old as our country. The power to create patents was included in the constitution, and the first Patent Act was enacted in 1790. A lot of opponents of patent reform today argue that the length of the patent system in this country is indicative of its health as…

Some Quick Reactions to the PAE Workshop

Market participants, regulators, lawyers, and patent professionals gathered at the FTC yesterday for a very informative Workshop on Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs).  We will be posting more this week about specific takeaways and action items for enacting true reform in this space, but I wanted to share some themes and reactions from the event: More…

The SHIELD Act Is a Step in the Right Direction

The SHIELD Act is an important step in the process of common sense patent reform where it is most needed: computer hardware and software patents.  The Act introduces a “loser pays” rule in computer hardware and software patent litigation when a court determines that a plaintiff did not have a reasonable likelihood of success.  The SHIELD…

FTC and DOJ Looking at Trolls under Antitrust Authority

A Sunday article in the Wall Street Journal reports the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) are devoting “huge energy, particularly at a senior level” to assess the impact of non-practicing entities (a/k/a patent assertion entities, or PAEs) on competition in high-tech markets.  The agencies also intend to host informal hearings on…

Why an Antitrust Lawyer Cares About Patent Reform

Since the advent of antitrust enforcement in the United States through the Sherman Act in 1890, antitrust law and patent law have endured an uneasy relationship.  Initial cases treated patents as superior to competition.  Patentees once were “the owner of a monopoly recognized by the Constitution and by the statutes of Congress.”  Gradually throughout the years…