So when Monster Cable Corp. sent a cease-and-desist letter to Blue Jeans Cable, Inc., alleging that the latter's "Tartan" brand cables infringed various patents belonging to Monster, they may have bitten off more than they can chew. Tuns out that Kurt Denke, President of Blue Jeans, was a lawyer in a former life, and the reply that he sent back to Monster makes for some pretty interesting reading.
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.
And speaking of patent humor: If any of you happen to find yourself in Philadelphia on Friday [STEPHEN COLBERT, TAKE NOTE!!] I'm going to be playing over at Doc Watson's bar (11th betw Locust and Walnut) at a Temple Law School "Happy Hour," (5-7 PM), and will present the WORLD PREMIERE PERFORMANCE of "Francis Barnes' Underwear," surely the greatest (because the only) rock and roll song based upon a 19th century patent law case from the Supreme Court. (As you patent aficianados might have guess from the title, the song explicates Egbert v. Lippmann, 104 US 333 (1881), a case holding that an inventor's placement of a single corset-spring into his girlfriend's corset constituted a "public use" of the new spring design). Come on down!