I Love the Smell of Litigation in the Morning
While many attorneys in a rut dream of leaving the law to start their
own business, at least one litigator-turned-businessman seems to miss the heat of battle. When audio-visual equipment maker Monster Cable sent a cease-and-desist order to Blue Jeans Cable, a small competitor, they got a prompt and lengthy response from Blue Jeans president Kurt Denke:
letter, received April Fools' Day
Dear Monster Lawyers,
me begin by stating, without equivocation, that I have no interest whatsoever
in infringing upon any intellectual property belonging to Monster Cable. Indeed, the less my customers think my
products resemble Monster's, in form or in function, the better.
Denke goes on to question the validity of the five design patents and trademarks Monster cites in its letter and requests a few clarifications, but he can't resist throwing in a little biographical detail to warn Monster's counsel about just who exactly they're dealing with.
graduating from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1985, I spent
nineteen years in litigation practice, with a focus upon federal litigation
involving large damages and complex issues.
My first seven years were spent primarily on the defense side, where I
developed an intense frustration with insurance carriers who would settle
meritless claims for nuisance value when the better long-term view would have
been to fight against vexatious litigation as a matter of principle. In plaintiffs' practice, likewise, I was
always a strong advocate of standing upon principle and taking cases all the
way to judgment, even when substantial offers of settlement were on the
table. I am "uncompromising"
in the most literal sense of the word. [...] I would rather
spend fifty thousand dollars on defense than give you a dollar of unmerited
settlement funds. As for signing a
licensing agreement for intellectual property which I have not infringed: that
will not happen, under any circumstances, whether it makes economic sense or
be that my inability to see the pragmatic value of settling frivolous claims is
a deep character flaw, and I am sure a few of the insurance carriers for whom I
have done work have seen it that way; but it is how I have done business for
the last quarter-century and you are not going to change my mind. If you sue me, the case will go to judgment,
and I will hold the court's attention upon the merits of your claims--or, to
speak more precisely, the absence of merit from your claims--from start to
finish. Not only am I unintimidated by
litigation; I sometimes rather miss it.
[Hat tip: Audioholics]
Posted by John Bringardner on April 16, 2008 at 01:20 PM | Permalink
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