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ADMIRALTY Northern Ins. Co. of N.Y. v. Chatham Co., 126 S. Ct. 1689 The justices ruled unanimously that an entity that is not an arm of a state government, and thus doesn’t enjoy immunity under the 11th Amendment, can’t claim common law “residual sovereign immunity” as a defense to an admiralty suit. A couple’s boat was damaged by a drawbridge on the Wilmington River, operated by Chatham County, Ga. Northern Insurance Co. of New York sued the county for negligent maintenance of the bridge. Writing on behalf of the court, Justice Clarence Thomas said that an entity that does not qualify as an “arm of the State” for 11th Amendment purposes cannot assert sovereign immunity. In addition, although the county may exercise core state functions with regard to navigable waters, U.S. Supreme Court precedent holds that sovereign immunity is no bar to an admiralty suit against a municipal corporation. ANTITRUST Illinois Tool Works Inc. v. Independent Ink Inc., 126 S. Ct. 1281 The justices reached a unanimous ruling that a plaintiff in a patent-tying antitrust action under Section 1 of the Sherman Act must prove that the defendant has market power as part of its affirmative case. Illinois Tool Works Inc.’s Trident division makes printing systems made up of patented inkjet printheads and non-patented inks for the printheads. In its licensing agreements, Trident conditions-or ties-the sale of its patented printheads on the purchase of its unpatented inks. Independent Ink Inc. makes and sells ink that can be used in Trident printheads, and allegedly at a substantially lower cost. It charged that Trident engaged in illegal tying in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act.
SUPREME COURT REVIEW
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