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Professor Ghosh Files Amicus Brief with SCOTUS in Retractable Technologies, Inc. and Thomas J. Shaw v. Becton, Dickinson & Co.

Posted on Thursday 3/2/2017
Shubha Ghosh

Shubha Ghosh, Crandall Melvin Professor of Law and Director of the Technology Commercialization Law Program, has filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court of the United States in Retractable Technologies, Inc. and Thomas J. Shaw v. Becton, Dickinson & Co.

The amicus brief is asking the Court to review lower court rulings on the issue of whether disparaging statements made by a company of a competitor's product can be the basis for an antitrust law suit. Right now the lower appellate courts are divided on this issue,” said Ghosh. 

Retractable Technologies, Inc. invented a new type of retractable syringe that minimizes sticks of those administering an injection. The syringe was patented but despite its benefits, the product did not get much traction in the marketplace in part because of proven disparagement by a competitor, Becton Dickinson (BD).  

Ghosh continues, “Although the court found disparagement under the Lanham Act, the court rejected the antitrust claim that BD acted anti-competitively.  The brief argues that the antitrust claim should not have been rejected. Currently, the lower courts are evenly split on the legal issue of whether product disparagement can be a basis for an antitrust claim. Companies who engage in product disparagement harm competition and innovation. The Supreme Court needs to address this legal issue of national importance for innovation and economic growth.”