FTC Dismisses Charges vs. Unocal Over Gas Formula Patent

Law360, New York (November 27, 2003, 12:00 AM EST) -- Administrative Law Judge Judge D. Michael Chappell at the Federal Trade Commission dismissed charges that Union Oil Company of California (Unocal) committed fraud in connection with regulatory proceedings before the California Air Resources Board regarding the development of reformulated gasoline.

The judge ruled that Unocal’s conduct constituted “petitioning” of a governmental authority and was therefore entitled to antitrust immunity under the 1961 Noerr-Pennington doctrine, which protects the ability of companies to lobby government and legislative bodies.

Moreover, the judge found that a resolution would require an...
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