Case | HBS Case Collection | May 2014 (Revised July 2016)

RCA: Color Television and the Department of Justice (A)

by Willy C. Shih and Gregory Dieterich


This case examines the early history of the color television receiver market and the global consequences of an historic 1958 consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice that opened RCA's patents to licensing by domestic competitors royalty-free. This externality had a dramatic impact on the long-term health of the U.S. consumer electronics industry. The associated (B) case is 614-073.

Keywords: Intellectual Property; Patents; Rights; Business Strategy; Competitive Strategy; Corporate Strategy; Business History; Technology; Hardware; Communications Industry; Media and Broadcasting Industry; Electronics Industry; United States; Japan;


Shih, Willy C., and Gregory Dieterich. "RCA: Color Television and the Department of Justice (A)." Harvard Business School Case 614-072, May 2014. (Revised July 2016.)