ACS Appeals Leadscope Case to Ohio Supreme Court

August 13, 2010

The long-running ACS court case against cheminformatics company Leadscope continues. In late July ACS filed a memorandum of law seeking further review by the Ohio Supreme court of the Leadscope defamation countersuit:

Although ACS does not seek to prolong this litigation or its costs needlessly, ACS believes that further review by the Ohio Supreme Court of the substantial judgment that has been entered against ACS is warranted. To the knowledge of ACS, there has never before been a case where an Ohio court has awarded damages based upon a theory of "malicious litigation." The right of a party to petition the courts and to bring claims supported by substantial evidence is a central feature of our American system of justice, even if those claims ultimately are not successful. ACS also believes that the statements it made about its claims were not defamatory and that defendants failed to prove any damages resulting from the statements alleged to be defamatory. These are important legal issues that ACS today has asked the Ohio Supreme Court to consider.

For more, see the recent C&E News article and the Depth-First post linking to documents in prior verdicts.

Whether or not ACS' legal arguments will persuade, I'm reminded that big companies can win the courtroom battle and still lose the war (one way to think of ACS is in terms of a nonprofit organization incubating a large company). This passage from a recent Paul Graham essay seems to have some bearing here:

It's hard for anyone much younger than me to understand the fear Microsoft still inspired in 1995. Imagine a company with several times the power Google has now, but way meaner.

I'm old enough to remember that powerful, mean Microsoft very well. How it used every means at its disposal to crush the competition and exploit its monopoly. I also remember how this grotesque obsession with the competition left little energy or creative spark for the software giant to serve what matters most in business - the customer.

Courtrooms deal out justice, but so does the marketplace.