Quickly losing hope due to the financial and emotional burden, Molly almost chose not to fight. She saw the millions of dollars she was losing. She had just devoted her time and money into her new gym (costing $280,000) and could not develop the resources to fight it, as she had little success licensing the product due to its mass distribution already. In 2015 she closed her kids’ programs and CrossFit programs. But it was not long before her fighter instinct kicked in. She acquired an attorney and together they worked effortlessly to shutdown overseas countries and earn licensing agreements with small CrossFit companies. Molly believed she could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel; She brought the fight to ROGUE Fitness. After all, she was awarded the patent, they are using her technology illegally, the patent system will protect them, right?
The constitution would agree, but the broken US Patent System, and the corrupt Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) had another decision in mind. The PTAB was created in the 2011 via the America Invents Act (AIA). Which was a radical overhaul of the U.S. patent system that had been the gold standard for over 200 years. Big tech lobbyists pushed this bill through, and then convinced President Obama to appoint Michelle Lee from Google to run the USPTO. In office, Lee wrote the rules and hired the “judges” who went on to find “errors” in the patents that Google and other Silicon Valley tech giants were accused of infringing. Molly is one of thousands of other inventors that have had their patents invalidated by the U.S. Patent Office –which has invalidated 84% of the patents they have reviewed under the AIA.
ROGUE Fitness used the bought-off patent system in their favor. In response to Molly’s infringement suit, ROGUE Fitness sought invalidation of her patents. They pushed the battle from the Ohio courts to Washington DC’s PTAB, where the administrative court, filled with three government employees, who are lawyers and not technical experts, would decide the fate of her patents.
Molly was awarded her first patent by the USPTO in 2010 and another in 2012. It was at this time that the patent examiner believed that Molly’s invention of the Revolution Rope was indeed patentable. The patent examiner is someone who has experience and knowledge in the technology in which they are granting the patent. Granting a patent only occurs after rigorous examination. Molly’s patents endured 6 years of examination by three different examiners with several decades of cumulative experience. At one point during the examination, they rejected Molly’s application, holding that it was obvious to combine an older jump rope handle with a rotating bearing with another that had a swivel joint. Molly stipulated to change the wording. After doing so, the examiners were persuaded that her patent met the requirements, therefore granting the patent.
Molly unfortunately fell victim to the PTAB – AKA the “death squad.”
ROGUE filed a petition asking the PTAB to revoke her patents. The PTAB proceeded to invalidate her patents and overturn the examiner. The PTAB ruled that it was obvious to combine older styles of jump rope handles from 1978 and 1979.
PTAB prohibits most evidence, live testimony, cross examination, and generally short circuits due process. The so-called trial took place in less than an hour (versus in a real court, the trial would take 1-2 weeks). This unjust court doesn’t even allow physical evidence which would have clearly shown the innovation that Molly created and patented. But, with these “judges” only appearing via remote video and not examining the evidence, there is no way to even attempt a just response.
Below is the 1978 technology that was considered by the USPTO examiners who determined that Molly’s design was a patentable improvement in 2010. The PTAB cited the exact same prior art in revoking her patents for obviousness in 2019.
No one is as experienced as Molly is in the field of jump-roping. Her experience, her resume, her knowledge in the field, led her to develop a jump rope handle that increased speed, power, and reduce friction. This design was never introduced into the market before, nor even thought of by others within the industry. The market success of this jump rope handle goes to show just how non-obvious it was. Yet, the unqualified PTAB “judges” took it into their own, unqualified, inexperienced, ignorant hands to kill another startup, another inventor, and another American Dream.
ROGUE Fitness and other companies are still manufacturing and selling Molly’s design. So much so, that when you search “Molly Metz Jump Rope” ROGUE Fitness is the first to show.
Fortunately, Molly did not give up her company. Molly still manufactures and sells her jump ropes in the US -USA made and sold. She also still hosts seminars and coaches.
You can view her seminars and purchase directly from Molly at her website JumpNrope