I’m not much of an audiophile, so I never really noticed Monster Cable except when Best Buy clerks try to sell me their ridiculously overpriced cables. Today I learned that actually selling cables is a sideshow for Monster; their real business is filing frivolous claims of patent infringement against smaller connector manufacturers, in order to bully them into signing licensing agreements. Apparently they’ve made enough money on this strategy to buy the naming rights to Candlestick Park!
Now it appears that they may have picked on the wrong small company. In a response to Monster, the President of Blue Jeans Cable first dispenses with the claim on the merits, then writes:
I have seen Monster Cable take untenable IP positions in various different scenarios in the past, and am generally familiar with what seems to be Monster Cable’s modus operandi in these matters. I therefore think that it is important that, before closing, I make you aware of a few points.
After 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. If Monster Cable proceeds with litigation against me I will pursue the same merits-driven approach; I do not compromise with bullies and 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 not.
“Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute!” I think I have a new hero.