When Clark Baker filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against me in Texas Federal Court three years ago, he knew his case was a loser. He had just lost arbitration against me on the exact same grounds and the arbitration panel found him guilty of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking; the equivalent of filing in bad faith. Baker had even hired a law firm that specialized in trademark law to handle the arbitration and he still lost; so there is no way he thought he could win in court. What Baker was really doing was trying to shut me up by shutting down my website. Baker did not think I would be able to find an attorney to handle the case and I would have no option but to forfeit.
Baker lost the case and was too arrogant and stupid to stop there. He appealed and lost the appeal. After the appeal my attorneys went after him for fees but they lost as my attorney Paul Levy knew they would. Mr. Levy knew how the Fifth Circuit interpreted the term “exceptional” (as Mr. Levy explains here). But Mr. Levy also knew that the U.S. Supreme Court had recently settled the matter in a case known as Octane Fitness. Mr. Levy appealed and the appellate court reversed the fee decision, thus setting a precedent in the Fifth Circuit.
It’s ironic that it took a crooked cop and Private Investigator of questionable morals to file a bogus lawsuit that would eventually set a legal precedent that will make it harder for bullies like Clark Baker to continue their bullying behavior. And this should be a lesson to Robert Leppo, the billionaire who continues to fund Baker, to be more critical when choosing a thug to do your dirty work. At least get one who has more brains than arrogance.
Although they are extremely happy with the decision, my attorneys thought that Baker’s fakeruptcy would preclude them from actually collecting their fees. However, there is great news on this front; there is a hearing scheduled in Los Angeles May 24, 2016 to decide if Baker has abused the bankruptcy system. It looks promising that the judge will rule against Baker and throw out his bankruptcy. (It is even feasible that Baker will see the inside of a jail cell. More on that at as it develops.)
The news of this precedent has been picked up by Bloomberg BNA as well as Techdirt, along with JDSupra Advisor and of course, the site that started me on this winning streak, Popehat.
Future cases will quote from this Precedent Setting Decision to win against other bullies like Clark Baker. It looks like Clark Baker’s prediction that the HIV Innocence Group would go down in history was accurate; it’s only fitting that history will be a shameful one.