PUBPAT Encourages Supreme Court to Reinstate Case Challenging Invalid Intellectual Property
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- August 23, 2012 -- The Public Patent Foundation filed today an amici brief with the United States Supreme Court supporting an appeal of a lower court's decision to dismiss a case challenging invalid intellectual property. The case, Already d/b/a Yums v. Nike, involves a trademark on shoes that Nike asserted against Already. After Already brought forth evidence showing the trademark was invalid, rather than lose its mark,as it should, Nike withdrew its accusations. The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit then dismissed the case even though Nike did not waive its right to accuse Already's future products of infringement.
"Many patent holders do exactly what Nike did in this case," said Dan Ravicher, PUBPAT's Executive Director. "The use of invalid patents as threats to chill pubicly beneficial behavior is extremely harmful to the public, and the courts are a needed mechanism for challenging such bogus claims." Ravicher previously commented on the case for the Huffington Post in his article titled, "Supreme Court to Decide Whether Patent Bullies Can Hit and Run."
In its brief to the Supreme Court supporting Already's request to reinstate its challenge to Nike's trademark, PUBPAT wrote, "Quality is the single most important issue in our intellectual property systems, because without it, they risk losing all credibility and the support of the American people. For example, we must, above all other goals, ensure only deserving patents are issued and maintained, otherwise the public will become rightfully skeptical of the merits of any patent and the patent system as a whole. Denying access to the courts to challenge undeserved intellectual property rights harms the public by shielding undeserved patents from scrutiny. The Court of Appeals' decision to offer safe harbor to a bogus trademark so that its owner could self-select when to assert it against the defendant, or others, in the future, betrays common sense, sound public policy, and, most importantly, the clear law of this Court."