Tuesday, May 11, 2010

More Lies From The Plaintiff

Intel Corporation has filed its amended complaint in the federal courts after the Honorable Charles R. Breyer threw out the original frivolous complaints on trademark infringement.

This is how he explained his decision to the hapless plaintiffs:

"It really is lacking in enough specificity which would demonstrate that there was confusion or that you're even addressing the same markets. I mean, my understanding is that there may be no customer overlap at all in connection with this."

So they amended. And the amended complaint is stuffed with even more frivolity than the first, something likely to annoy Judge Breyer.

What do we mean? For example, the company tries to assert there is customer overlap through the following:

"Intel offers newsletters focusing on technology and business forecasting under its INTEL family of trademarks ... The intended audience for such publications includes individuals in the U.S. who are interested in technological business developments, trends and forecasts, both domestic and abroad."

Really? A newsletter publisher? The company is really going to assert that it competes with Mexico Watch Intelligence Service newsletters? I mean, that's just insulting.

Not to the judge -- though come to think of it, the Hon. Charles Breyer may feel this assertion insults his intelligence -- but rather it is an insult to our newsletters! Mexico Watch would never permit the shoddy handling of facts that Intel Corporation does. We've never seen their newsletters, nor do we know how much they cost to subscribe to, but to this budding Intel Corporation newsletter division we say: Don't quit your day job.

Speaking of facts, let's take a look at this amended complaint.

Yikes! Did you read all of that? Unless you are a trained lawyer, let's hope not. You would require advanced tedium therapy for years to come.

In this amended complaint, the plaintiff alleges:

"Intel made numerous attempts to resolve the dispute amicably, including its offer to fly and meet with Defendant’s counsel in person to try to resolve the dispute, which Defendant rejected."

You probably didn't know lawyers could fly. But this one can. Prior to joining Howrey, James Cady used to be the global trademark enforcer for Red Bull. So he's got wings.

But even though we knew this at the time, little notion had we that Cady had offered to fly out to meet with us. That's because he never said that. He said he would be in Washington DC and could swing by our lawyer's office for some face time.

So friendly! "I brought you a cigar and an energy drink. Want me to barnstorm you around the Washington Monument?"

What actually happened was the following: Howrey, which had initially started sending us Cease and Desist threats in July 2007, conducted a bizarre, stop-and-go, disingenuous harassment campaign for month after month. We've documented and posted the haphazard communications and inflexible positions that this campaign involved. After more than a year of their erratic badgering, during which time we were passed around among different Howrey lawyers, we said: "Enough."

In fact, we explicitly informed them that their repetitive, fickle, and bad faith settlement offers were not welcome. We also expressly accused Howrey of conducting a war of attrition, seeking to grind our resources down with chicanery and bluff. Intel Corporation and Howrey, at a jointly chaired seminar on trademark infringement, OPENLY declared that waiting out small companies while they collapse into bankruptcy IS PART OF THEIR LEGAL STRATEGY!!!

To paraphrase, we said: "Your communications are unhelpful and burdensome. If you have anything further to discuss, put a clear offer in writing. Until then, do not contact us."

Easy enough instructions to follow, right?

Immediately, the phone range. Crinkling aluminum cans of energy drink chirped in the background. It was the Howrey guy. Cady wanted to talk.

We firmly reiterated our instructions. Clear offer in writing first. Resumption of talks second. A very lucid directive from us. Easy. It was then that the Calfornia-based lawyer suggested a personal meeting while he was in Washington DC. Not so easy? Not when you're hopped up on energy drinks. But he wasn't, right? So what gives?

If we had any reason to regard Howrey's tactics as underhanded, and, quite frankly, we do, we would conjecture that this offer was simply another way to log billable hours to meet a quota.

But that's ancient history. What's new in this case is that Intel Corporation and the Harvey Siskind law firm that represents the California-based technology maker in this case are misconstruing the facts in a legal complaint before a federal judge. Some would say that's naughty.

The fact is that Intel Corporation, via its Howrey counsel, made numerous demands that we accept their terms to cease and desist. The terms they presented us were insulting, unrealistic, and absurd, and we told them exactly that using exactly those words at the time.

When we asked them to discontinue their harassment, they did not. They stepped it up. Now they seek to paint us as intransigent? Unfortunately for them, we have the paper trail.

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