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Monster Cables Pushes Around the Wrong Small Company

Zonk posted about 6 years ago | from the keeps-the-electricity-demons-out dept.

The Courts 572

Alien54 writes "Audioholics has a fun read regarding a recent legal dustup involving Monster Cables. The well-known (some might say notorious) cabling company sent a cease and desist letter to Blue Jeans Cable over a supposed patent violation. What the Monster folks couldn't have known was that Blue Jeans president Kurt Denke used to be a lawyer. His response is as humorous as it is thorough. ' Let 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 ... If there is more than one such connector design in actual use by Monster Cable as to which appropriation of trade dress is alleged, of course, I will require this information for each and every such design. On the basis of what I have seen, both in the USPTO documents you have sent and the actual appearance of Monster Cable connectors which I have observed in use in commerce, it does not appear to me that Monster Cable is in a position to advance a nonfrivolous claim for infringement of these marks.'"

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The word "owned" comes to mind (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23079842)

I read every word of that rather long article, and all I have to say is "OWNED". Wow. Normally I refer from such Internet slang, but I really believe in my heart that it applies here.

Re:The word "owned" comes to mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23079866)

I think you're lying. You probably read fark, ebaums, etc.

Re:The word "owned" comes to mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23079922)

No, I recognize that AC account. He's ALWAYS on 4chan in the /b/oards. You know, I herd he likes mudkips.

Re:The word "owned" comes to mind (5, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | about 6 years ago | (#23079984)

Were Monster cable "owned"?

They're just going to harass someone else now. They don't really care that much. The basic business plan here is "threaten to sue", "threaten some more", "If target refuses to settle then give up, else settle". They know full well that some people are going to call their bluff. He just happened to do it in a very long winded, wordy way that has saved them a lot of time and effort.

Re:The word "owned" comes to mind (5, Insightful)

masdog (794316) | about 6 years ago | (#23080082)

The long-winded and wordy way, combined with being released on the Internet, will go a long way towards keeping Monster from doing this again. The next company they threaten to sue will likely turn up this letter in a simple Google search, providing that company's legal counsel with a bucket full of ammo.

I would say Monster's days of running around suing competitors will be drawing to a close soon.

Re:The word "owned" comes to mind (5, Insightful)

evanbd (210358) | about 6 years ago | (#23080124)

My favorite quote:

Not only am I unintimidated by litigation; I sometimes rather miss it.

Good to see a little guy who seriously intends to go not only to trial but to final judgement against a big patent bully. They definitely picked the wrong person to pick on.

Re:The word "owned" comes to mind (3, Interesting)

Z00L00K (682162) | about 6 years ago | (#23080404)

The whole letter is a lawyers way to tell them to go *** themselves.

But it's really good to read!

Re:The word "owned" comes to mind (5, Interesting)

JordanL (886154) | about 6 years ago | (#23080142)

My favorite part is where he obliquely mentions that if they do take him to court and try to bleed him dry he'll kindly foward along their sham company tax shelter methods to the IRS that they use to avoid paying income tax on their Intellectual Property. That's gotta scare the hell out of most companies.

Re:The word "owned" comes to mind (5, Insightful)

Valdrax (32670) | about 6 years ago | (#23080338)

I also love when he threatens Rule 11 sanctions, demands extensive discovery, and threatens to challenge each and every one of their patents. Oh, and he accuses them of acting in bad faith, without candor.

But really, you're right -- threatening their tax shelter was a masterstroke.

Re:The word "owned" comes to mind (5, Funny)

ComSon0 (473373) | about 6 years ago | (#23080208)

That is the most beautiful letter I ever read. It teared my eyes. I am a dude, but I think I love that guy.

Re:The word "owned" comes to mind (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23080352)

lol

Re:The word "owned" comes to mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23080406)

top, bottom, or switch hitter?

Re:The word "owned" comes to mind PWNED (2, Informative)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | about 6 years ago | (#23080340)

read every word of that rather long article, and all I have to say is "OWNED". Wow. Normally I refer from such Internet slang,

I believe the proper iSlang is PWNED!

Just a friendly correction, not trolling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23080360)

You misspelled "PWN3T"

Alternative acceptable spellings include "PWN37," "pVVn3D," "pwnt," and "9W|V3D," though "OWNED" is flat out incorrect.

Monster cable has been taking advantage... (5, Informative)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | about 6 years ago | (#23079852)

In my opinion, Monster cable has been taking advantage of the lack of technical knowledge of the general public to convince people to buy EXTREMELY expensive cables, when much cheaper cables would provide equal performance.

Performance of audio systems is not heavily affected by cables, if only the size of the wires is adequate.

Re:Monster cable has been taking advantage... (2, Interesting)

Keith Russell (4440) | about 6 years ago | (#23079992)

Didn't somebody do a "golden ear" A-B test that determined that Monster speaker cable was no better than an extension cord with the connectors cut off?

Re:Monster cable has been taking advantage... (5, Informative)

Ariastis (797888) | about 6 years ago | (#23080072)

No, they did it with a coat hanger (At the consumerist [consumerist.com])

Re:Monster cable has been taking advantage... (5, Informative)

hudsonhawk (148194) | about 6 years ago | (#23080192)

No, the Consumerist did no such thing. If you read the article, all the Consumerist did, in fact, was quote a 4 year old post by a random dude on an internet forum.

That's hardly what I would call a reliable source of information, and yet people continue to perpetuate the mean as truth because it appeals to their pre-existing notions.

Re:Monster cable has been taking advantage... (3, Informative)

dmd53 (1269344) | about 6 years ago | (#23080312)

I remember that! I've just spent the last semester studying the properties of materials affecting conductivity, and my main conclusion has been... copper is pretty darn good for the price. Sure, there are some fancy things you can do like doping it with silver and the like, but the addition of most things will actually raise the resistivity of the alloy. For good hi-fi, all you need is pure copper, and I'd be very surprised if Monster has a patent on that.

By the way, this isn't the first time Monster Cables has used frivolous lawsuits to their advantage-- they also have a habit of suing anyone with the word "Monster" in their name:

http://www.tabberone.com/Trademarks/HallOfShame/MonsterCable/MonsterCable.shtml [tabberone.com]

Re:Monster cable has been taking advantage... (5, Insightful)

Alpha830RulZ (939527) | about 6 years ago | (#23080130)

Several times, and the physics of why Monster cables do nothing that plain wire can't do is well understood. Bulk 12 gauge multi strand copper is all you need for the highest end gear, and most people won't be able to tell the difference between that and lamp cord without an oscilloscope.

Re:Monster cable has been taking advantage... (5, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | about 6 years ago | (#23080022)

They might have had some (quickly rebutted) case in the analogue era, but with the digital era they are just outright cheating customers. You can get an HDMI cable for as low as 15 cents [amazon.com], but Monster continues to charge up towards $100 for theirs. Obviously with digital any cable is as good as another, because the system has error correction built into it and is not susceptible to distortion from nearby wiring.

Still, on Usenet I've seen people who, probably because they already "invested" thousands of dollars in Monster Cables, placed so much trust in the company that they brought out arcane arguments that, yes, Monster digital interconnects are better than anything else on the market. After all, can't you hear how "brighter" and "warmer" the sound is once you've blown money on the interconnects?

Re:Monster cable has been taking advantage... (1)

Shados (741919) | about 6 years ago | (#23080344)

Seriously. This has always cracked me up... especially since nothing seems to be able to convince people that quality of wires (above a certain level... extremely shitty wires will have issues at extreme levels) is insignificant with digital and that it is so by design... I mean, its how the internet works, and god knows here's a lot of "noise" on the line, yet my text files sent over instant messengers are accurate :)

But nope, it doesn't get through. Monster HDMI cables >>>>> ALL, and nothing to do to convince anyone otherwise.

Quality matters for some high-speed cables. (5, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | about 6 years ago | (#23080370)

Amusingly, for many years Monster stayed away from the types of cables where quality matters, like VGA cables. VGA cables have a high-bandwidth analog signal, and long (10m or so) VGA cables have transmission-line type problems, where mismatches or crosstalk result in ghosting or blur at the monitor. For short tables, it's not a big deal, but as length increases, it matters. There are lots of crap VGA cables out there. Still, above $15 for 10m, you're overpaying.

HDMI cables have to carry 340MHz, so they're transmission lines. There's a certification process, and if the cable passed it, it should be OK. There are phony HDMI cables out there that don't pass the spec, but all certified cables should work equally well.

There's something to be said for gold-plated connectors, especially for something that's frequently unplugged, but the cost of the gold is trivial.

Re:Monster cable has been taking advantage... (2, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | about 6 years ago | (#23080382)

an HDMI cable for as low as 15 cents [amazon.com]
Actually, $5.05 shipped :)

Most of the other sellers offer it for $2 with $3 shipping, if you prefer...

Re:Monster cable has been taking advantage... (3, Informative)

peipas (809350) | about 6 years ago | (#23080050)

EXTREMELY expensive cables
That is 100% correct. I bought a spool of 12 gauge speaker wire from Lowes for pennies on the dollar spent on Monster cable.

There is one Monster product, however, that was worth the purchase. I sought an FM modulator and while none that I tried had any problems with reception, the several I tried before the Monster unit had awful, flat sound quality. In this case the premium was for a superior product, not just a name.

Re:Monster cable has been taking advantage... (3, Insightful)

pthisis (27352) | about 6 years ago | (#23080076)

In my opinion, Monster cable has been taking advantage of the lack of technical knowledge of the general public to convince people to buy EXTREMELY expensive cables, when much cheaper cables would provide equal performance.

Performance of audio systems is not heavily affected by cables, if only the size of the wires is adequate.
I agree with your basic point, but I'd add "And the connections are all solid." (including good soldering/other connection from the wire to the plug and good contact plug-to-jack, or good direct wire-to-component connections for plugless cables)

But yeah, there are standing offers out there from a number of sources for anyone who can consistently double-blind ABX the difference between various "high-end" cables and much cheaper large gauge copper wires.

Re:Monster cable has been taking advantage... (1)

nuzak (959558) | about 6 years ago | (#23080210)

Monster's connections aren't solid, they're too tight. People equate cable thickness and connector tension with a "solid" feel and therefore quality, so they bulk up the insulation and make the connectors at the tightest end of the tolerance.. This often ends up damaging the jacks they plug into unless you're really careful when pulling them out.

TOSlink cables are sort of a pain, and take a lot of finagling to get out sometimes, but the only TOSlink cable I had where the plastic shroud at the end actually broke off was a Monster cable (I got it with my equipment as a promotional thing). The thin vinyl "fabric" wrapping has also torn away from the plugs.

Possibly I could get a free replacement for that cable, though I think it's just on their "high end" gear. But frankly it would cost less to just buy a cable off amazon or overstock.com.

Re:Monster cable has been taking advantage... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23080224)

I really like listening to my stereo and have spent some money on it.

In magazines like Stereophile, they actually measure equipment and such as amplifiers and speakers. These measurements show differences in frequency response, THD distortion, intermodulation, and so on. One can see why speaker A sounds different from speaker B.

However, I have not seen any of these measurements for cables. They do not appear in magazines or in cable manufacture advertisements. My theory is that the differences are not measurable or that the measurements do not show significant difference between cables. This I would be willing to accept.

The thought that a digital cable, power cable, or wall receptical has any impact on sound would be laughable, except that people waste good money on these things.

Anyone got an extra green marker? :)

Re:Monster cable has been taking advantage... (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | about 6 years ago | (#23080272)

You mean that Monster Cables running to Bose speakers WON'T make me cool?

Re:Monster cable has been taking advantage... (4, Informative)

Sandbags (964742) | about 6 years ago | (#23080314)

Equal performance is subject to debate. True, a simple increase in cable guage provides better signal, but filtering of external interference, Monster does that a bit better than their competitors. Is it worth it though? If you install properly sized cables and route them away from sources of interference, it's no big deal.

Now, that's really for analog signals... As for digital, it's not really a concern. A $15 HDMI or DVI cable is just as good as a $85 HDMI cable, assuming they're both rated for the same frequency response and distance (HDMI has several classifications, and it CAN make a difference).

As for fiber cables, light is light. A thicker, stronger shell simply helps protect you from over bending the cable and refracting the beam, but it adds no shielding or signal quality improvement of any kind, and in fact, the fiber core itself must be a very specific size in microns. Changing this size like you do in ordinary cables is not optional.

If you have a high end system, increasing cable thickness, adding better cable contacts, and improving shielding can be important, and can improve audio and video quality. On the other hand, unless you're running cables across power lines, very close to speakers, close to tube TVs, or over long distances, Monster offers no "discernable" differences vs their half priced competitors.

That said never use the cheap shit cables that actually come in the box. Allways buy quality replacements, and ensure the connectors are made from materials that don't corrode (i.e. not copper, silver, or aluminum) gold contacts are great, platinum is not worth the expense. In most cases you'll need new cables anyway just to make the distance between devices as 3' is almost never enough, but don't buy cheap unshielded cables ever. Allways look for decent stuff.

When buying a stereo or speakers, look to buy models that support screw on connections or tightening rings for the speaker wire. The cheap little clip style slots, like you typically find on the back of cheaper speakers and all-in-one stereo units do not provide a sufficient contact surface for 100 watt and higher outputs.

As for filtering, modern home theater equipment is more computer than TV or stereo, and this stuff is VERY sensitive to low quality poewr. A surge protector is WORTHLESS! You need power filtration with real time voltage regulation. Monster does a good job providing very high quality filtering systems for as little as $200-300. If you have high def, a suround sound stereo, a PS3 or xbox360, keep this in mind. 97% of all electronic failure is the result of low or inconsitent power. Surge protectors only stop massive oversurges (typically over 160 volts). Damage to computer electronics cn occur at voltage below 104 or above 116. Do your lights ever flicker in your house? Especially when your AC turns on or when your fridge kicks in? If so, GO BUY A POWER FILTER for every digital device in your house!!!

Great warranty, though... (1)

thegnu (557446) | about 6 years ago | (#23080496)

You just return your utterly destroyed Monster cable to any participating store, and they replace it for you, free of charge. Which is pretty goddamn awesome.

I like PlanetWaves cables better, though. I fear the metal Monster plug will damage my equipment. And I think PlanetWaves has a similar warranty.

But the price, in light of the lifetime warranty, is pretty fair.

Once again... (4, Funny)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | about 6 years ago | (#23079854)

Slashdot reposts a story found on Gizmodo that Gizmodo found on Digg that was first seen on reddit that...

Re:Once again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23079918)

Slashdot reposts a story found on Gizmodo that Gizmodo found on Digg that was first seen on reddit that...
And the circle jerk of life continues. Fortunately for the denizens of Slashdot, Gizmodo, Digg, and Redit, as that is the greatest amount of non-auto-erotic genital stimulation most are likely to get this year.

Re:Once again... (5, Insightful)

iamhigh (1252742) | about 6 years ago | (#23079924)

Then submit it to /. sooner.

Plus, since when is slashdot in competition with them? If I want to read stupid stories (surprised all the legal talk didn't scare the farkoids) and even worse comments, I will go to fark/reddit/digg. I come to /. to hear halfway intellectual commentary on current issues.

Amen, brother, Amen (5, Interesting)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | about 6 years ago | (#23080126)

When digg first came out, I thought it an incredible improvement on /. as far as getting timely stories, if they would only get nested comments. But then the fanboys hit, duplications made /. look as staid and conservative as the New York Times, and I gave up on digg. Far too much noise for far too little signal.

And since then, /. has improved immensely. No doubt the competition helped, but I care not where the incentive came from, only that /. gets better and better.

Re:Once again... (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | about 6 years ago | (#23080170)

Also, for amusing reuse and evolution of memes (along with not so amusing ones) and the creative-as-hell trolls.

Re:Once again... (4, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 6 years ago | (#23080378)

Also, for amusing reuse and evolution of memes (along with not so amusing ones) and the creative-as-hell trolls.
Like, for example:

I, for one, welcome our new unintimidated former lawyer CEO of a cable manufacturer overlord.

Or, perhaps:

In Soviet Russia, former lawyer CEOs sue YOU!!!

Or maybe even

1. Set up cable company
2. Threaten lawsuits against other cable companies in existence
3. Get settlements on all but one.
4. Get bitchslapped by former lawyer CEO of said company.
5. ????
6. Pwned!!!!

Re:Once again... (1)

atari2600 (545988) | about 6 years ago | (#23080298)

I submitted a story last week to slashdot about the release of RealPlayer11 and HelixPlayer 11 for Linux. These are new releases with new features that are actually attractive for the end-user. My submission was rejected...

Re:Once again... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23080392)

Then submit it to /. sooner.

Plus, since when is slashdot in competition with them? If I want to read stupid stories (surprised all the legal talk didn't scare the farkoids) and even worse comments, I will go to fark/reddit/digg. I come to /. to hear halfway intellectual commentary on current issues.
you're joking about that last part right?

Re:Once again... (1)

Gori (526248) | about 6 years ago | (#23080398)

...intellectual commentary on current issues.
With that little snippet, you sir have just made my day...

Re:Once again... (0, Troll)

mcmonkey (96054) | about 6 years ago | (#23080030)

How long until this shows up on fark, linking to the story on /., about a story on gizmodo, ...

I have mod points, but find no +1 sad. Is it that hard to follow the link to an original source, and leave credit in the summary? "I found [link to source] on Joe's web log," rather than, "Here's a summary of the summary found on [link to Jo's log]." But I guess that would require the subby to RTFA.

Then again, what should I expect from the group that supports use of wikipedia by college students as a referenced source for research papers.

(Yes, I am going for troll mods.)

(No, I'm not really going for troll mods, but hope that by mentioning troll mods I'll get funny or insightful instead.)

(I just jinxed it, didn't I?)

Re:Once again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23080032)

i couldn't care less

Re:Once again... (4, Funny)

91degrees (207121) | about 6 years ago | (#23080046)

Yes, but Gizmondo has a rubbish comments system, Reddit is all about xkcd and how people are being mean to Barrack Obama (at the moment. A few months ago it was Ron Paul), and Digg is full of Digg users.

Re:Once again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23080090)

What's your point? You think everyone has time to read every news source on the interweb? Some of us actually, you know, WORK rather than just surfing all day to find out who posted what where and when. But hey... if it makes you feel like you're the cool guy in-the-know then by all means stay the course. Lord knows we don't have anywhere NEAR enough doofi pretending to be investigative journalists already.

From TFA (5, Funny)

madjalapeno (1052094) | about 6 years ago | (#23079946)

The best line of the reply has to be "Not only am I unintimidated by litigation; I sometimes rather miss it."

Re:From TFA (4, Funny)

croddy (659025) | about 6 years ago | (#23080086)

the whole thing is just a litany of pwn. this is the most badass response to legal threats i've seen in a long time; this guy has given even the pirate bay's collapsible baton gag a run for its money.

Re:From TFA (5, Interesting)

everphilski (877346) | about 6 years ago | (#23080092)

I love what he's doing but I said "damn, damn, damn" when he went on and on about about his experiences as a lawyer. Something tells me that might be the difference between Monster pursuing and not pursuing this case. Had he not laid all his cards out on the table, he might have got the fight he was looking for, and showed Monster they can't bully everyone around. Part of me is afraid that won't happen now.

But either way, I'm glad he's sticking up for himself, and not just himself but making it public. Others will catch on, I hope, and be able to use similar arguments and techniques to evaluate settling versus taking a stand.

Re:From TFA (3, Insightful)

masdog (794316) | about 6 years ago | (#23080154)

If you think about it from a business point of view, he's basically saving his company a lot of legal bills and hassle by not dragging it to trial.

Re:From TFA (3, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 6 years ago | (#23080454)

I don't think he necessarily wants to go to court. The reason he's warning them of both his experience and the near-total lack of any reasonable claim against him is so that they walk away and stop bothering him. I'm fairly certain they will do that. They're not interested in a fight, only in making competitors cower and pay them money. It's rather classic bully behavior, but all bullies, big or small, will tend to stay away from anything that looks even remotely like an even match, or worse, one where they're bound to lose.

What will piss them off, of course, is that the letter has been made public. But that's his perogative.

Re:From TFA (2, Interesting)

lurker4hire (449306) | about 6 years ago | (#23080520)

Well I think we haven't heard the last of this, IANAL but I'm pretty sure Monster is obligated to respond to his VERY specific requests. Either by admitting that their initial claim was complete horseshit or coughing up the requested documents and proceeding through with the next steps required to continue the initial threatened lawsuit.

If Monster doesn't, again IANAL, but doesn't Denke (the CEO of the small company) have a claim against monster for threatening frivolous litigation? Maybe even for anti-competitive behaviour considering that Monster (the 362KG gorilla) is trying to threaten a small competitor out of business?

l4h

Re:From TFA (1)

masdog (794316) | about 6 years ago | (#23080116)

That was a good line, but I liked the insinuation that the licensing agreement was just a tax shelter to avoid paying US Income Tax.

Summary... (5, Funny)

binaryspiral (784263) | about 6 years ago | (#23079948)

Dear Monster Lawyers,

The mention of similarity between my company and yours makes me throwup in my mouth a little. Your threats are empty and vague. You provided no details to your patent hissyfit.

If you're actually attempting to prove you own a patent on the RCA connector, then fuck you and the horse you rode in on.

Sincerely,
Kurt Denke

Re:Summary... (4, Insightful)

Zordak (123132) | about 6 years ago | (#23080088)

If you're actually attempting to prove you own a patent on the RCA connector...
Actually, they're not. All they asserted were design patents, which are flimsy little patents drawn to the ornamental design of the product. They're actually a sort of bastard child you'd get from a weird threesome between copyright, trademark and patent laws. You infringe a design patent by selling a product that looks like the patented design. It has nothing to do with the technology. The fact that they sent five (essentially saying, "You're too close to all five of these different ornamental designs") is pretty good evidence that this was just anti-competitive grand standing. They were just hoping that Blue Jeans would see the word "patent" and think $4M litigation and roll over and stop competing.

A shorter answer (5, Interesting)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 6 years ago | (#23079954)

I refer my learnèd friend to the case of Arkell v Pressdram [wikipedia.org].

Re:A shorter answer (4, Funny)

debrain (29228) | about 6 years ago | (#23080322)

Great reference. For those not inclined to click the link ...

[The plaintiff, Arkell, was the subject of an article relating to illicit payments and so sued the defendant magazine Pressdram. The] magazine had ample evidence to back up the article. Arkell's lawyers wrote a letter in which, unusually, they said: "Our client's attitude to damages will depend on the nature of your reply". The response consisted, in part, of the following: "We would be interested to know what your client's attitude to damages would be if the nature of our reply were as follows: Fuck off".

This is exhibit "A" ..... (4, Insightful)

8127972 (73495) | about 6 years ago | (#23079972)

... As to why patent reform can't come soon enough.

Re:This is exhibit "A" ..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23080220)

This is a design patent, not one of those patents that you helpdesk chimps are always complaining about.

Re:This is exhibit "A" ..... (3, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 years ago | (#23080478)

No, it's not.
This is someone attempting to bully using the patent system, it is not the fault of the patent system at all.

I would argue that these kind of people would threaten under some other pretense.

3 3 3 3 (1)

bcdm (1031268) | about 6 years ago | (#23079978)

My man-crush for Kurt Denke currently knows no bounds. I will gladly have his love-children if he so asks, biology be damned!

Stupid story. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23080006)

Who gives a shit?

Classic Small-Guy Shakedown (3, Insightful)

mpapet (761907) | about 6 years ago | (#23080008)

Every small company I've worked for has been shaken down this way.

Step 1: Giant company sees small company as a real or imagined threat.

Step 2: Initiate patent or Trademark litigation.

Step 3: Repeat step 2 until small company is sunk under a mountain of legal bills.

Step 4: Profit!

Monster Cable versus wire coat hangers (1, Informative)

Josh Triplett (874994) | about 6 years ago | (#23080016)

For more proof that Monster has nothing special, see the Consumerist's comparison of Monster Cable versus wire coat hangers [consumerist.com]. Nobody could tell the difference.

Re:Monster Cable versus wire coat hangers (2, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | about 6 years ago | (#23080062)

While I'm not defending monster in any way, the information there on the experiment doesn't say what kind of music was played. If it were some rock album with some amount of distortion in the guitars already, then a coat hanger may really be just as good. Playing classical music with long silences over a coat hanger, however, may provide audibly different results than real cabling.

Re:Monster Cable versus wire coat hangers (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23080174)

Yes, it might upset a mime when a blank tape is played too loudly.

Re:Monster Cable versus wire coat hangers (1)

gomiam (587421) | about 6 years ago | (#23080274)

While I'm not defending monster in any way, the information there on the experiment doesn't say what kind of music was played.

I guess I'll save you the hassle of re-reading the article:

A high quality recording of smooth, trio, easy listening jazz was played (Piano, drums, bass). None of us had heard this group or CD before, therefore eliminating biases.

Happy now?

Re:Monster Cable versus wire coat hangers (1)

bogie (31020) | about 6 years ago | (#23080366)

Yes it does. Read the original post.

Volume levels were set at 75 Db at 1000K Hz. A high quality recording of smooth, trio, easy listening jazz was played (Piano, drums, bass). None of us had heard this group or CD before, therefore eliminating biases

Keeping us blind folded, my brother switched out the Belden wire (are you ready for this) with simple coat hanger wire! Unknown to me and our 12 audiophile buddies, prior to the ABX blind test, he took apart four coat hangers, reconnectd them and twisted them into a pair of speaker cables.
Good enough for me, although I already beleived this anyway. A wire is a wire is a wire and only fools think otherwise.

Re:Monster Cable versus wire coat hangers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23080388)

Far less than you'd think, cable is only an issue for low level signals from passive guitar pickups or between a mic and pre-amplifier. At line level and above, cable capacitance is a none issue.

I use van damme [vdctrading.com] and sommer [sommercable.com] not because they provide any measurable performance over the cheaper stuff but because the quality is consistent and the cable is nice to work with. The same goes for Neutrik and Amphenol connectors.

Re:Monster Cable versus wire coat hangers (5, Informative)

hudsonhawk (148194) | about 6 years ago | (#23080232)

Did you in fact read the article you're posting?

The Consumerist did no such comparison. Rather, a reader sent them a 4 year old post from a random dude on another forum, which the Consumerist quoted and posted, turning it into a popular Slashdot meme.

Groupthink at work, gotta love it. The burden of proof is always non-existent when it backs up your pre-existing notions of truth.

Re:Monster Cable versus wire coat hangers (1)

Maudib (223520) | about 6 years ago | (#23080368)

Admittedly a tad off-topic but as we are bashing Monster-

I don't really care what Monster charges for cable. What bothers me is that the retailers are in on it. If I want some cable and I want it NOW the only thing a place like Circuit City or Best Buy stocks is Monster or some over priced equivalent. I know I can go an order a cable that produces equivalent results online for $5, but if I want it that day the only thing to do is buy what Best Buy or Circuit City is stocking, which invariably costs $50.

I have always wondered if there was the basis for someone who was far more litigious then me to file some anti-competitive based lawsuit against Monster and the retailers here. There is NO WAY that Radio Shack, Best Buy, Circuit City have all independently decided to only stock "high end" cables that unbranded sell for 1/10th or less online.

Oh come on you need to post the whole thing! (-1, Redundant)

falcon5768 (629591) | about 6 years ago | (#23080036)

This letter is CLASSIC! It is the legalizes version of a vicious beatdown and then farting on the kid after your done.

RE: Your letter, received April Fools' Day Dear Monster Lawyers, Let 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.

I am evaluating your claim that the connectors on certain Tartan brand products infringe Monster's design patents and trademarks. However, the information supplied with your letter is plainly inadequate to support a claim of infringement and so I am writing to you to ask for further information and clarification regarding your claims.

I will begin by addressing your trademark/trade dress claim. You have referred to two trademark registrations, and have attached some printouts from the USPTO system but the depiction of the marks on the drawings provided is small and indistinct, making it difficult to determine exactly what the alleged resemblance is, and I need further information from you.

First, I need legible, scale drawings of the marks, preferably with dimensions shown on the drawing. To the extent that drawings are inadequate to show the nature of materials, finishes, print legends, colors and the like, I will also need examples of each of Monster Cable's actual uses of these marks in commerce; actual physical examples would be best, but photographic reproductions might do. As you will understand, these considerations are essential to any claim arising out of trade dress, as you are alleging in essence that there is a resemblance sufficient to cause confusion over the identity or origin of the goods, and no mere line-drawing can suffice. Second, I will need copies of the trademark applications and any correspondence between the applicant and the USPTO in support of the applications.

Third, you have not identified the Monster Cable products in question, in actual use and distribution in commerce, whose trade dress you allege has been appropriated. I have reviewed Monster Cable's online materials and have examined connectors on various Monster Cable assemblies in local retail outlets and am unable to determine which, if any, of these are thought by Monster to represent use of these particular marks. I am also unable to determine from this review whether Monster Cable actually offers any product for sale to which the Tartan connectors are alleged to be particularly similar. My own sense of it, in looking at the connectors, has been that there is no similarity between the Tartan connectors and any of the many Monster Cable connectors beyond the general functional and conventional characteristics which all or nearly all solder-cup, mechanical-assembly, barrel-style RCA-type connectors share. It may be that there is some line of products to which you have intended to refer but which I have not found in Monster Cable's marketing materials or displays; but if so, you will need to show me specifically what product it is, and you will need to call to my attention the specific aspects of the connector design which you contend constitute unique Monster Cable trade dress, what the associated secondary meaning of those aspects of the trade dress is, and in what manner and by what characteristics you allege that this trade dress has been appropriated.

Fourth, if the dimensional characteristics of the connector as used in commerce vary from the dimensions of the scale drawing of your mark, I will need a proper scale drawing, with dimensions, of each version of the actual connector as used in commerce, as well as photographs of the connectors showing actual in-use finishes. If there is more than one such connector design in actual use by Monster Cable as to which appropriation of trade dress is alleged, of course, I will require this information for each and every such design.

On the basis of what I have seen, both in the USPTO documents you have sent and the actual appearance of Monster Cable connectors which I have observed in use in commerce, it does not appear to me that Monster Cable is in a position to advance a nonfrivolous claim for infringement of these marks. There simply is not sufficient resemblance between the Tartan connectors and any mark or any example of the marks' actual use that I can find to support such a claim. But if you have further information for me on that point, you are welcome to submit it.

You have also supplied me with partial documentation on five design patents which you claim these connectors infringe. I will begin by observing, first, that the five design patents are so very much unlike one another that it is very hard to imagine that any product could actually infringe more than one of them at a time; anything close enough to one of them to be deemed an infringement would, by that fact alone, be too dissimilar from the other four. The dissimilarity of the Tartan connector from each of them is readily evident.

I should add that, for the purpose of this letter, I am assuming that these patents are valid. This is in no way a concession of the point. In fact, this is a very significant and likely inaccurate assumption, and you should expect the patentability of these designs to be under attack if you commence an action for infringement. The fact that you have presented me with five completely distinct design patents, I have to say, gives me pause. I would go over them and detail the differences between the Tartan connectors and those shown in the patents, but if you are taking the position that it appears you are taking, there might be very little point in discussing it with you. Take, for example, the patent you mark as Exhibit B. The connector shown there is substantially different from the Tartan connectors in every respect, unless one ignores design specifics and focuses on the core attributes of the connector which are dictated by function. If your view of Exhibit B is that it is to be construed broadly enough as to encompass the Tartan connector, it is very hard to imagine that there is such a thing as a solder-assembly style RCA plug which is not similarly, in your view, encompassed by this patent. And, needless to say, it is very hard to imagine that any court would ever adopt such a view of the patent's scope; if you file on this sort of basis, you are in Rule 11 frivolous-claim territory.

I will point out, though you are no doubt already well aware, that the gross morphology of the RCA plug is pretty well dictated by function. RCA plugs intended for soldering and assembly have certain attributes in common; their diameter is constrained by the need for the shell to fit over an internal set of solder points and cable clamp, and their length by the need to provide some room for cable end prep and attachment; they are generally radially symmetrical along the anterior/posterior axis owing to the need to accommodate both a round-profile cable and the round-profile RCA socket; the connector end is constrained by the standard dimensions of the RCA socket, and by the need, as the socket provides for no bayonet or screw attachment, to provide sufficient tension on insertion to maintain good mechanical and electrical contact; the barrel, grasped by the user for the purpose of insertion and removal, requires traction which is typically provided by raised or recessed rings, plastic inserts, knurling, or the like; and transition between the connector and the cable to which it is attached requires, in one form or another, a reduction in barrel size at the connector rear. It is my assumption, since you cite design patents only and no utility patents, that Monster Cable makes no claim here for any functional aspect of any of these designs; if I am wrong, please let me know what utility patents Monster Cable does hold, and what claims, if any, Monster asserts on the basis of those utility patents.

Further, on that point: one of the design patents you attached is closely related to a utility patent applicable to the same design, and you failed to point that fact out. I need to be able to rely upon the completeness and accuracy of the information you send to me and I find this sort of omission deeply disturbing because it is clear that the effect of this nondisclosure is to obscure the real significance of the patent features. Similarly, as I note further below, you omit reference to another patent Monster has held which appears, frankly, to be fatal to your position. If you expect to persuade me, you had better start making full, open and honest disclosures; I will find out the facts sooner or later in any event, but the impact upon your credibility will not be repaired. It looks like when you sent this letter, you were operating on the premise that I am not smart enough to see through your deceptions or sophisticated enough to intelligently evaluate your claims; shame on you. You are required, as a matter of legal ethics, to display good faith and professional candor in your dealings with adverse parties, and you have fallen miserably short of your ethical responsibilities.

My sense, in looking at these five patents, is that either you are attempting to present some argument that I simply do not understand or you are arguing for untenably broad coverage of these patents which would sweep every functional aspect of the typical solder-assembly RCA connector within the scope of a handful of mere design patents. You need to clarify this, and frankly, I think you need to indicate to me which, if any, of these patents you actually contend are relevant to the present discussion. It cannot possibly be that you believe that more than one of these patents is pertinent, and if you insist that they are, we cannot have an intelligent dialogue on this subject. Once you have identified the patent which you contend is relevant, I need to see the file history and the references to prior art; I need copies of the applicant's correspondence with the USPTO; and I need a clear and cogent explanation from you as to exactly what aspects of the Tartan connector design are alleged to constitute the infringement, and how.

Additionally, if you are able to identify any of these patents as applicable, please let me know whether Monster Cable presently sells, or has at any time sold, any products bearing connectors which are in conformity with the patent drawings or which are otherwise contended to be within the coverage of the patents, and identify those products for me. Please also provide photographs and/or physical examples of these connectors as manufactured and sold.

Also, please provide me all of the information referenced above as it relates to your expired patent D323643, a copy of which I am attaching. I will need to know what products Monster now offers or at any time has offered for sale which were believed to fall within the scope of D323643, and what claims, if any, of infringement of D323643 were made against others by Monster, whether those claims of infringement took the form of correspondence only, litigation, or otherwise. Please let me know which, if any, products Monster has ever sold or offered for sale which were marked with the patent number, or other reference, to D323643. Please also advise me whether, in your view, the Tartan connector does or does not fall within the scope of D323643, and if it is your view that it does not, please identify each and every difference between the Tartan connector and the connector represented by D323643 upon which your view is based. (On that note, let me point out to you that the "turbine cut" feature is irrelevant here as your client makes only functional, not design, claims for that feature in its marketing materials for the product.) I would assume that you would agree with me that if the Tartan connector is less dissimilar from the D323643 patent than from any of the five patents you cite in your letter, then the Tartan connector is within the coverage of the prior art and cannot, as a matter of law, infringe any of your client's current patents.

I must also point out that unless there is a good deal of background information you have not provided me which makes the case otherwise, Monster Cable cannot possibly square its patent infringement claim(s) with its own patent history. Two views of the matter might be taken; the first, which is my view, is that none of the design patents, including D323643, encompass the Tartan connector. If that is so, of course, the claim for infringement fails. But if one grants the sort of breadth to these patents that you appear to wish to do, a problem arises for Monster. D323643 is the least dissimilar to the Tartan connector of any of the patents, and stands as an obstacle to any claim of infringement of the others because it establishes prior art; if its scope, like the others, is granted the breadth you argue for, then the Tartan connector falls plainly under the prior art and cannot constitute an infringement of the later, and more dissimilar, patents. Read the patents narrowly, and Monster loses; read them broadly, and Monster loses. You are welcome to point out any error in my reasoning; but I have to say that I will be unreservedly surprised if you are successful in doing so.

Please also let me know whether Monster Cable or any related entity has brought actions to enforce any of the patents and trademarks referenced in your letter or above, and provide me with the jurisdiction, court and docket information pertaining thereto, along with copies of any decisions or judgments resulting therefrom. If any such litigation proceeded through discovery, I will need all discovery responses, including document production, issued by Monster, as well as copies of any and all depositions taken and the exhibits thereto.

Further, if any of these patents or trademarks has been licensed to any entity, please provide me with copies of the licensing agreements. I assume that Monster Cable International, Ltd., in Bermuda, listed on these patents, is an IP holding company and that Monster Cable's principal US entity pays licensing fees to the Bermuda corporation in order to shift income out of the United States and thereby avoid paying United States federal income tax on those portions of its income; my request for these licensing agreements is specifically intended to include any licensing agreements, including those with closely related or sham entities, within or without the Monster Cable "family," and without regard to whether those licensing agreements are sham transactions for tax shelter purposes only or whether they are bona fide arm's-length transactions.

Once I have received the above materials and explanations from you, I will undertake to analyze this information and let you know whether we are willing to accede to any of the demands made in your letter. If my analysis shows that there is any reasonable likelihood that we have infringed in any way any of Monster Cable's intellectual property rights, we will of course take any and all action necessary to resolve the situation. If I do not hear from you within the next fourteen days, or if I do hear from you but do not receive all of the information requested above, I will assume that you have abandoned these claims and closed your file.

As for your requests for information, or for action, directed to me: I would remind you that it is you, not I, who are making claims; and it is you, not I, who must substantiate those claims. You have not done so.

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.

I say this because my observation has been that Monster Cable typically operates in a hit-and-run fashion. Your client threatens litigation, expecting the victim to panic and plead for mercy; and what follows is a quickie negotiation session that ends with payment and a licensing agreement. Your client then uses this collection of licensing agreements to convince others under similar threat to accede to its demands. Let me be clear about this: there are only two ways for you to get anything out of me. You will either need to (1) convince me that I have infringed, or (2) obtain a final judgment to that effect from a court of competent jurisdiction. It may 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.

I will also point out to you that if you do choose to undertake litigation, your "upside" is tremendously limited. If you somehow managed, despite the formidable obstacles in your way, to obtain a finding of infringement, and if you were successful at recovering a large licensing fee--say, ten cents per connector--as the measure of damages, your recovery to date would not reach four figures. On the downside, I will advance defenses which, if successful, will substantially undermine your future efforts to use these patents and marks to threaten others with these types of actions; as you are of course aware, it is easier today for your competitors to use collateral estoppel offensively than it ever has been before. Also, there is little doubt that making baseless claims of trade dress infringement and design patent infringement is an improper business tactic, which can give rise to unfair competition claims, and for a company of Monster's size, potential antitrust violations with treble damages and attorneys' fees.

I look forward to receiving the information requested and will review it promptly as soon as it is received. Sincerely, Kurt Denke

Monster Park = Monster.com park (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23080102)

I hate these losers at Monster cable. They are a total rip off.

What is funny, however, is that in San Francisco, the park where the 49ers play, it's called Monster Park.

EVERYONE thinks it was named after monster.com, the job web site. Absolutely no one realizes that it's for Monster cables.

Good work guys!

This sounds familiar (4, Interesting)

arotenbe (1203922) | about 6 years ago | (#23080106)

I am evaluating your claim that the connectors on certain Tartan brand products infringe Monster's design patents and trademarks. However, the information supplied with your letter is plainly inadequate to support a claim of infringement and so I am writing to you to ask for further information and clarification regarding your claims.

I will begin by addressing your trademark/trade dress claim. You have referred to two trademark registrations, and have attached some printouts from the USPTO system but the depiction of the marks on the drawings provided is small and indistinct, making it difficult to determine exactly what the alleged resemblance is, and I need further information from you.
This made me laugh. Monster Cable wants to initiate a trademark suit and can't send a legible image of the trademark? Sounds like something SCO would do...

The world needs more Kurt Denkes (5, Insightful)

TheHappyMailAdmin (913609) | about 6 years ago | (#23080114)

And we need them in a serious way. People who know their stuff, know what the legal system is supposed to be used for, and stand up for themselves in a positive way.

I hope we see more small companies and individuals do this in the future.

Summary Missed Best Paragraph (3, Informative)

iamhigh (1252742) | about 6 years ago | (#23080122)

I like this one...

Further, if any of these patents or trademarks has been licensed to any entity, please provide me with copies of the licensing agreements. I assume that Monster Cable International, Ltd., in Bermuda, listed on these patents, is an IP holding company and that Monster Cable's principal US entity pays licensing fees to the Bermuda corporation in order to shift income out of the United States and thereby avoid paying United States federal income tax on those portions of its income; my request for these licensing agreements is specifically intended to include any licensing agreements, including those with closely related or sham entities, within or without the Monster Cable "family," and without regard to whether those licensing agreements are sham transactions for tax shelter purposes only or whether they are bona fide arm's-length transactions.

When I was more naive (4, Interesting)

Thelasko (1196535) | about 6 years ago | (#23080132)

I purchased some Monster Cables for my home theater. Now the damn connectors are coming off my speaker wires. I took them apart to find out that connectors are held on by a shoddy crimp job. For what they cost they could at least solder them. The rubber shielding is even starting to deteriorate. Not worth the money. [gizmodo.com]

Re:When I was more naive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23080572)

Monster has a lifetime warranty on all their cables. If something broke as a result of shoddy manufacturing, they will gladly replace it.

Ahhh, that was joyfull (4, Funny)

mlwmohawk (801821) | about 6 years ago | (#23080180)

I have not enjoyed a letter like that in a long while.

I think I have a new rule, right after "never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!" "Never challenge a former litigator who misses his old job."

What this really points out is.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23080216)

Now, the real issue here is that every frakking time a large east-coast firm throws up some completely contrived and in this case completely confused claim of infringement, where is the Lawyer that will be able to send something like that on behalf of the poor schmucks that DIDN'T come out of a heavy damage litigation background?

Does the DOJ need to aggressively treat all patent infringement claims such that the one filing the claim is audited by federal attorneys for relevancy? Should the patent office send out investigators and rip the claim apart before it gets to court?

I, for one, would be SOL if a company the size of Monster came after me. I can't even START to mount a defense for this kind of thing. I applaud Mr. Denke but at the same time, I have to say that this is a serious lament for the system. You have to be a high-class lawyer to get this crap out of your company's hair.

This is poetry (3, Insightful)

ashitaka (27544) | about 6 years ago | (#23080242)

Not only does he completely and thoroughly tear Monster's case apart, he also points out that Monster uses a Bermuda-based company for IP holding to shift income offshore and avoid paying US taxes. Not illegal per se, but also not something Monster would want broadcast.

Although it may have taken some time to write this he absolutely ensures that Monster will never mess with him again and decreases the chances of Monster going after anyone in a similar fashion. He has done in probably less than a couple of hours what would normally take months of messy litigation.

This guy is a hero.

Wow (1)

Piazzola (965798) | about 6 years ago | (#23080300)

That letter is a thing of legalistic beauty. I wanted to cheer when I read it.

Sometimes, only sometimes, lawyers can be pretty damned awesome.

Uhm.... (3, Funny)

mark-t (151149) | about 6 years ago | (#23080302)

Wouldn't the RCA connector patented by.... oh, I don't know.... RCA?

Re:Uhm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23080418)

well connectors are a funny thing. You can patent every variation you can think of down to the millimeter. It is basically a form patent. The connector world is FULL of this sort of junk. Some of these connectors can get rather specialized. So if you can eleminate 1 or 2 people who also make something like what you do, you can quite litterly corrner the market.

So even though you have an RCA connector. You can have thousands of different 'styles' that are all patented.

But when it comes down to it. It is still an RCA connector.

Re:Uhm.... (4, Informative)

Detritus (11846) | about 6 years ago | (#23080514)

Any patents held by RCA would have expired many decades ago. They invented the connector in the 1930s.

Monster Clowns (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | about 6 years ago | (#23080362)

Monster Cable are the clowns who convince clueless morons that their $150 HDMI cables provide better pictures to your big screen than ordinary HDMI cables.

Hey, It's Digital, Clowns! It either works, or it doesn't. It doesn't work halfway.

I'll be sure to .. (1, Insightful)

mbaGeek (1219224) | about 6 years ago | (#23080364)

... buy all of my overpriced cables at Blue Jeans Cable [bluejeanscable.com] from now on (obviously I'm not a customer of either company)

This is also a great piece of guerrilla marketing - maybe they are well known in their field but I had never heard of Blue Jeans Cables before today ...

Re:I'll be sure to .. (4, Informative)

ivan256 (17499) | about 6 years ago | (#23080534)

Their prices on long lengths of HDMI cables are actually downright reasonable. $38 for 24 gague, 50-feet in your choice of color and connector? That's better than Monoprice...

Whoah. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23080384)

Further, if any of these patents or trademarks has been licensed to any entity, please provide me with copies of the licensing agreements. I assume that Monster Cable International, Ltd., in Bermuda, listed on these patents, is an IP holding company and that Monster Cable's principal US entity pays licensing fees to the Bermuda corporation in order to shift income out of the United States and thereby avoid paying United States federal income tax on those portions of its income; my request for these licensing agreements is specifically intended to include any licensing agreements, including those with closely related or sham entities, within or without the Monster Cable "family," and without regard to whether those licensing agreements are sham transactions for tax shelter purposes only or whether they are bona fide arm's-length transactions.

Holy cow! (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 years ago | (#23080394)

I clearly haven't been noticing that Monster have been suing people for producing cables with RCA and coax style connectors.

I mean, how lame is that? Those are standardized connectors, so the idea of suing someone for making cables with similar ends is ludicrous.

I've always believed the claims that Monster Cables magically make audio sound differently were completely silly. But, this is the first time I've apparently registered the fact that they sue people who make other cables. I really do hope this guy gets to stand up in court and make them look like fools.

That's just weird.

Cheers

Porcupine (4, Funny)

Bananatree3 (872975) | about 6 years ago | (#23080546)

It looks like a porcupine, and boy does it growl like a porcupine. Monster Cable Products Inc, would you like to try a bite and see if it tastes like a porcupine?

Calling the bluff (4, Interesting)

rumblin'rabbit (711865) | about 6 years ago | (#23080558)

My company has received warnings letters about possible patent infringements on our part. As manager of R&D, I've helped respond to them.

The main thing to keep in mind is that such patent infringement claims are mostly bluff. Sending a letter to a company claiming patent infringement is a relatively cheap thing to do, and might result in a competitor discontinuing a product or paying a license fee. But responding to such a letter in a coherent, technically competent, and determined manner is often enough for the patent holder to back off. They don't want a legal battle any more than you do.

Indeed, if you can make a case for prior art then the patent holders will really want to avoid a fight, for such a battle might invalidate their patent.

lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23080562)

what a beautifully put, long winded way to say "suck my balls"

Cables (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | about 6 years ago | (#23080566)

Monster cables are nonsense. If you don't mind paying for them because they are right there and look good, have at it. If your money is worth something to you, buy something else.

Go to a hardware store and buy 10 gauge stranded wire for your speakers, go to a discount store to by cheap audio/video cables for your VCR (with white/red/yellow RCA connector hoods and coaxial cable), and buy HDMI cables on-line for $4.99.

Digital signals like HDMI either work or they don't, so as long as it works, you are fine. The speaker wire is far more than enough. And the cheap w/r/y a/v cables from walmart are just fine for the signals they are carrying from a VCR or DVD player.

Monster cables are a rip-off, there is absolutely no factual quantitative reason to pay for them. The do not perform better, and seriously, CAN'T perform any better then generic cables on consumer electronics. When properly connected, the electrical signals levels are pretty immune to noise. Did you ever wonder why VCRs and DVD players always came with cheap wires? Because the OEMs know that it doesn't make a difference.

In the case of speaker wires, does anyone know how much energy has to be induced on a speaker wire to actually produce audible noise through a speaker? Its HUGE! Measured in WATTS!

Monster Cables? give me a break.

its opened now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23080578)

dude, thats like the biggest can of whoop ass EVER!!
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