EI News and Notes

Economists Ink: A Brief Analysis of Policy and Litigation

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Wins Summary Judgment

Barry C. Harris, EI Principal and Board Chairman, was the expert economist and testified at a deposition on liability and damages on behalf of defendant Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC). The principal allegations by plaintiffs involved BCBSNC’s refusal to include them in the provider networks for its commercial health plans. Plaintiffs claimed that BCBSNC used its alleged market power to foreclose and eliminate competition in Mecklenburg County. Dr. Harris’s analysis showed that BCBSNC had no market power, foreclosure had not occurred, competition had not been eliminated and the appropriate antitrust geographic market was broader than Mecklenburg County. Plaintiffs’ antitrust claims were dismissed. Williams Mullen PC represented BCBSNC. Dr. Harris was assisted by EI Vice President Stephanie Mirrow.

Ormco Corporation Settles Patent Infringement Suit Against Align Technology

EI Senior Vice President Richard Shin and EI Vice President Gale Mosteller assisted Ormco Corporation in its patent infringement suit against Align Technology. They worked with attorneys from London & Mead, one of the law firms representing Ormco. After the court had found Align guilty of infringement, Drs. Shin and Mosteller analyzed Align’s opposition to an injunction that would have stopped Align from selling the Invisalign System during the remaining term of Ormco’s patent. Shortly after the submission of EI’s report, the parties settled the lawsuit.

Copyright Industries Report Released

The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) released Copyright Industries in the U.S. Economy: The 2003-2007 Report, which was written by Stephen E. Siwek, an EI Principal. This IIPA report reflects the recommended statistical standards developed by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2003. It is the twelfth economic report that Mr. Siwek has prepared for the IIPA since 1990. The Report shows that the U.S. copyright industries continue to outperform other U.S. industries, in terms of their real annual growth rates and their contribution to overall economic growth.