Return Mail Inc (RMI) patented some sweet ass genius technology to help deal with mail that has an unreadable or missing address on it. They patented their tech like any good company would do.
Knowing that their tech was basically meant for one client, the US Postal Service (USPS), they went to sell USPS a license to use their patented software.
USPS being a bunch of mafioso-type big government bullshit artists were like, “Oh, we’ll use your patent alright, RMI. But we ain’t paying you jack shit for it. We’re just using it because we’re the federal government, and we do whatever the fuck we want!”
Knowing they might end up in court, the USPS took their mafioso bit one step further, and tried to get the Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board to declare RMI’s product unpatentable. If this isn’t blatant fucking theft, I don’t know what is.
RMI, realizing this was the bullshitiest bullshit that had ever been bullshitted, countersued saying this violated provisions in the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, which was designed to improve the patent process in general by changing the “first to invent” rule, to “first to file.” But within the act, it provides for “persons” to dispute patents.
So RMI was basically asking SCOTUS to say, “Look, the USPS isn’t a person, it’s a fucking mafioso oppressor and bullshit artist. And therefore, they can’t challenge our patent.”
SCOTUS listened, and decided to agree with RMI, that the USPS can’t be called a person by any reasonable measure, and for once, private industry fought the law, and private industry won.
6:3 judgement for Return Mail Inc. Breyer, Ginsberg, and Kagan dissented citing instances where the government was referred to as a person elsewhere.
Hear oral arguments and/or read about the case here.