Baden Sports, Inc. received an $8.1 million judgment in a federal case brought against Molten Corporation and Molten USA. The jury found that Molten willfully infringed Badens patent on Cushion Control Technology and that Molten had intentionally falsely advertised its basketballs. According to court documents obtained by SEW, the bulk of Badens award comes from the false advertising charge ($8.05 mm), with a $38,000 award for patent infringement.
In addition to monetary damages, the U.S. District Court of Western Washington issued a permanent injunction that enjoins Molten from continuing to sell or offering to sell its infringing “dual cushion” basketballs in the United States and also from advertising to U.S. consumers its “dual cushion” basketball as “innovative.” The Court enjoined not only false advertising within the United States, but false advertising directed at United States consumers.
Baden also filed suit in federal court in Las Vegas, Nev. against the Federation International de Basketball and USA Basketball, citing that both organizations used Molten basketballs “despite being aware that doing so infringed on Badens patent.” Molten was the official basketball of the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship in Las Vegas, Nev., a qualifying tournament for the 2008 Olympics, which took place at the end of August. Molten is also the official ball of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and an official sponsor of USA Basketball.
A spokesperson at USA Basketball told SEW that the organization remains in its contract with Molten and that they will continue to use Molten basketballs going forward, while also following the guidance given by the courts.