CPI Blog o’ Blogs November 2012

November 2012, Volume 2, Number 11
Patents remains the hottest topic of the month, although the Europeans have also been quite active. Plus we have an interesting comment on political imbecility and updates on the U.S. Supreme Court, the FTC, and the SEC. And for our U.S. community, our best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving!
Government Trustbusters Scrutinize Patent-Holding Firms
Companies that should be competing “instead are cooperating, through the troll, to raise rivals’ costs and share the profits from doing so.”
Ashby Jones (WSJ Law Blog)
Richard Epstein Podcast: ‘Patent Rights: A Spark or Hindrance for the Economy?’
With a string of high profile patent infringement suits in the smartphone industry – and a new effort to roll back patent rights at the International Trade Commission certain patents held by so-called “non-practicing entities” – the debate over intellectual property has grown more intense.
(courtesy of Truth on the Market)
Why an Antitrust Lawyer Cares About Patent Reform
Collaboration and collusion are twisted and inversed.
David Balto (Walter Kluwer)
How Many Patents Make a “Patent War”?
Patent thickets are also defined by, among other things, the capabilities and costs of communication between the relevant parties and the means and costs in commercially exploiting the technology.
Adam Mossoff (Intellectual Ventures)
Software Patents and the Smart Phone
Perhaps smartphones are the focus of the software patent problem because, well, they do everything, and so they might infringe everything.
Michael Risch (PrawfsBlawg)
Antitrust and Political Imbecility
The expansion and consolidation of antitrust laws across the world can actually contribute to mitigating political imbecility through the promotion-even if implicit-of sensible centrist attitudes.
Alfonso Lamadrid (Chillin’Competition)
In EU’s Top Court, Silence is Golden
In the European Court of Justice, the burden is now on the parties to request oral arguments and show why they are necessary.
Joe Palazzolo (Wall Street Journal)
Beware of Siren Advice for Political Control of Foreign Mergers
Can we really expect a sensible political decision to discriminate between the two bidders on public interest grounds? 
Bruce Lyons (Competition Policy Blog)
The Role of Sales and Marketing Managers Within International Cartels
The marketing and sales managers that have been involved in a substantial percentage of cartels (42.9%) are seldom the most senior managers.
J.K. Ashton & A.D. Pressey via Steve Szentesi (Canadian Competition & Regulatory Law)
The Friday Slot – Marc van der Woude
The cases at the Court are generally about facts dating back a few years. In the meantime antitrust policy evolved rapidly. 
Alfonso Lamadrid (Chillin’ Competition)
DOJ, SEC Provide Updated Foreign Bribery Enforcement Guidance
The FCPA bar has long awaited the guidance, but it will remain to be seen, right now, whether the government has added any clarity to enforcement.
Mike Scarcella (Blog of LegalTimes)
Supreme Court Hears 2 Cases Over Class Actions
Both are in a way sequels to the Court’s 2011 decision in Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes.
Adam Liptak (New York Times)
Google and The FTC’s Investigation: A Cautionary Tale
The outcome will determine whether the U.S. antitrust authorities remain anchored to the principle that, in the words of the Supreme Court, the antitrust laws “are not designed to protect business from the working of the market,” or whether the FTC drifts closer to the EU model, where competition laws ask large firms to be more accommodating of weaker rivals.
Eric Savitz (Forbes)