Blue Jean Cable Shows One Way To Respond To Overly Broad Patent Threats

from the show-me-the-infringement! dept

A few folks have been submitting the response letter sent by Blue Jean Cable's President to Monster Cable after Monster sent a threatening letter claiming that Blue Jean violated various Monster design patents and trademarks. While the response is a bit over the top, Blue Jean's Kurt Denke makes it clear that Monster's threat letter appears to be nothing more than a fishing expedition/bullying tactic and he won't take it. He responds to each claim, noting that Blue Jean doesn't appear to infringe at all, and asking for much greater detail in response, rather than simply being bullied into submission. Design patents are rather limited, but it looks like Monster is acting as if they're utility patents in an effort to scare off Blue Jean Cable, not expecting that the company's execs might understand the difference between the two.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Nick (profile), Apr 15th, 2008 @ 5:12pm

    I am surprised you did not mention how Monster is a monster, or more accurately, an IP bully, as they have demonstrated in the past.

     

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  2.  
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    eleete, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 5:23pm

    Awesome !!!

    When you read the text of that letter, it's exquisite. I wish all IP cases were handled that seriously on both sides, instead of the club these cases represent to honest business owners. Fortunately this time, the incentive to defend is met with competence to defend vigorously.

     

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  3.  
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    Cynic, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 5:39pm

    Sounds like you'd be safe from complaints from Monster's lawyers as long as any RCA plug on either end of cables you offered looked and functioned just like aligator clips. Of course, I hear tell some people can't tell the difference between Radio Shack and Monster cables, so maybe RS has cause for action.

     

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  4.  
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    Hellsvilla, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 5:50pm

    monster cables

    Sorry for off-topic-ness, Mike...

    But Monster Cables are crap! the quality of the cable is no better than a radio shack cable... you're just paying 10x more for prettier plastics and a fat trademark.

    Seriously.. THE CABLE DOESNT MATTER!

     

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  5.  
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    Gregg Loewen, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 5:57pm

    Monster vs Blue Jean Cable

    Go get em Kurt!!

     

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  6.  
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    ashridah, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 6:03pm

    Actually the cable does matter...

    But not the way monster would have you believe.

    Read some of the articles on bluejeanscable.com about HDMI cables, they explain quite a few of the issues that go into supporting the higher-end specs of HDMI.

    That said, yeah, for the kinds of distance monster would have you buying cables for, the signal loss will be so negligable... and for digital, it'll rarely be enough to lose a bit, and error correction will compensate for that. I fully recommend buying decent cable (from bluejeans who will cut to length!) if you need to go 30-40ft, but for smaller lengths, usually any ordinary cable will do. (bluejeans do have some cheap hdmi ones tho, but you need to be willign to wait out shipping from washington state)

     

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  7.  
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    Bill W, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 6:06pm

    Wow(2)

    I read that response through to the end. I wish I could write like that! Just awesome, in your face, no quarter given, raw prose. And in lawyer-speak to boot. I want that guy on MY side!

     

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  8.  
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    Jake, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 6:21pm

    Re: Actually the cable does matter...

    I'd be surprised if most users would notice a difference at 30ft+ unless they own an HDTV or plasma screen, actually. Seriously, people, it's a length of plastic-coated metal wire. How big a difference can the brand really make?

     

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  9.  
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    inc, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 6:28pm

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

     

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  10.  
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    TX CHL Instructor (profile), Apr 15th, 2008 @ 6:58pm

    Scratch Monster Cables

    I'm going to look into buying Blue Jean cables from now on. I LIKE that guy's attitude.

    Not that I ever bought Monster Cables anyway. After all, copper wire is copper wire, and the connectors either fit properly, or not. I certainly can't hear the difference between Monster and Radio Shack, and I suspect anybody who says he can is deluding himself (or herself) or just imagining things that aren't really there.

     

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  11.  
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    Kevin, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 6:59pm

    Beautiful!

    I've read this six times, and it gets better every time! I love it; a small company unwilling to be intimidated into a foolish response, and a lawyer (former lawyer at least) with scruples. Like Mr. Denke, I've never understood why companies respond to nuisance lawsuits by bowingto the bully who can't compete honestly on the open market (like Monster). Its like paying off a ransom. If you've paid em off once, every kidnapper in the neighborhoods knows YOU WILL PAY OFF. I'm a BJC customer and on top of it all, they make fanstastic products at a reasonable price.

     

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  12.  
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    Kevin, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 6:59pm

    Beautiful!

    I've read this six times, and it gets better every time! I love it; a small company unwilling to be intimidated into a foolish response, and a lawyer (former lawyer at least) with scruples. Like Mr. Denke, I've never understood why companies respond to nuisance lawsuits by bowingto the bully who can't compete honestly on the open market (like Monster). Its like paying off a ransom. If you've paid em off once, every kidnapper in the neighborhoods knows YOU WILL PAY OFF. I'm a BJC customer and on top of it all, they make fanstastic products at a reasonable price.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 7:28pm

    That was

    A good read.. Thanks, made my day with that one.

     

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  14.  
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    Matt, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 7:46pm

    Wow

    I read the letter end to end and I must say that Kurt Denke is my hero! Wow just wow!

     

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  15.  
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    Mark, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 8:32pm

    BJC is the best

    I have bought tons of cables for several home theaters over the past 6 years and I have only bought them from BlueJeanCables.
    Their talent, quality and knowledge is fantastic. Their prices are very reasonable and Though they are in Washington State and I am in Saint Paul, MN, I still get them within 2-3 days of my order!

    I have always sworn by them and recommended them to others, but this letter makes me smile even more.
    We love ya' Kurt!

    ~Mark Fawcett

     

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  16.  
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    Shane, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 8:41pm

    Glee!

    As a BJC customer I have to say this is beyond awesome. I would have paid a good bit of money to see the reaction at Monster HQ.

    I have a new hero for the week!

     

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  17.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Apr 15th, 2008 @ 10:28pm

    A Tax On The Foolish

    Just as gambling is a tax on those poor at math, Monster cables is a tax on those bad at engineering.

    For those of you making 6ft. runs of wire behind your stereo and TV components, you will NEVER perceive any difference in quality between Walmart AV rack wires and Monster. I know, some of you think I'm wrong, you DO notice the difference. Listen, just have your mom do a blind test on you. Cheap cables vs. Monster. If you can say which it is correctly at least seven times out of ten, let us know in the comments.

    Stop spending your allowance on stupid cables.

    I was at CES this January, and I see that Monster was huge there, and they were joined by lots of other "big wire" competitors. This market is growing. PT Barnum is right again.

    Their lawsuit? What a joke! Putting more metal and plastic in a wire is patented? Patently useless, yes, but an obvious and stupid idea.

     

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  18.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Apr 15th, 2008 @ 10:33pm

    Suckers Like Me

    Hmmm. I fell for that old mistake. Apparently, PT Barnum, who I invoke in the comment above, did not say the line famously associated with him:

    "There's a sucker born every minute."

    At least that's what Wikipedia says:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/There's_a_sucker_born_every_minute

    But I'm not going to listen to Wikipedia! Certainly not where Brain Surgery or Hi-Fidelity is concerned:
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20080415/013346850.shtml

     

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  19.  
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    Clark, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 11:30pm

    Brilliant!

    That was absolutely brilliant! I wish there were more people in the world like Kurt who have the testicular fortitude to stand up to things like this. And, if there are, I hope more of them make the news than they do now.

    I miss hearing about people who stick by their principles, no matter what.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2008 @ 2:49am

    Re: Re: Actually the cable does matter...

    Seriously, people, it's a length of plastic-coated metal wire. How big a difference can the brand really make?

    Brand doesn't make a difference but construction and materials do.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2008 @ 3:09am

    Lawyer?

    Are we sure this guy really used to practice law? I mean, principles? Since when do lawyer have those?

     

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  22.  
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    ScytheNoire, Apr 16th, 2008 @ 3:47am

    New Hero

    Kurt needs to become a super hero and join the EFF and fight against the bully corporations that spend their time acting like mafia goons.

    I absolutely loved the letter, and it only gets better the more you read. It would have been priceless to see the faces and comments in the law office that got that letter back, because they just got their asses handed to them.

    I hope Kurt files a lawsuit back at Monster Cables and attacks them.

     

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  23.  
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    Ferin, Apr 16th, 2008 @ 5:29am

    Wow!

    I want that guy to defend me in court. Scrath that, I want that guy to be my boyfriend. God damn that was an awesome reply.

     

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  24.  
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    Response from BJC, Apr 16th, 2008 @ 6:08am

    Thought you would like to know

    I emailed BJC to let them know I was posting a link to their letter on TechDirt. Below is their response.


    First, my apologies for this being a "form letter" response; we have been swamped with e-mails of support and encouragement from every quarter and it's become impossible to respond to each one individually.

    As my letter to Monster's counsel indicated, we believe Monster's threats to be completely baseless, and we are prepared, if Monster unwisely proceeds with a lawsuit, to fight it with passionate intensity. We are extremely
    heartened by the public support and by the interest that people have shown in this situation.

    We will be continuing to update the public with information about this if anything further develops.

    Thanks,

    Kurt Denke
    Blue Jeans Cable

     

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  25.  
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    Obvious Troll, Apr 16th, 2008 @ 6:16am

    Damn

    I can sum up that response in one word.


    "Owned!"


    Not only does he let the lawyers know he's not going to be intimidated, he even points out how the way they worked is morally reprehensible and he knows it.

    "Not only am I unintimidated by litigation; I sometimes rather miss it."
    Could you throw the gauntlet on the table a bit more?

    Kurt needs to be contacted by every company being bullied and asked to draft such letters.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2008 @ 8:12am

    I am reminded of a line from "Tora Tora Tora": I fear we have awoken a sleeping giant.

     

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  27.  
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    Troll Food, Apr 16th, 2008 @ 8:14am

    Re: Damn

    "Could you throw the gauntlet on the table a bit more?"

    Actually, I'm pretty sure this is a classic case of the gauntlet somehow missing the table and hitting monster in the teeth.

    Go Kurt!

     

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  28.  
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    Etch, Apr 21st, 2008 @ 1:29pm

    Re: Brilliant!

    Testicular Fortitude. I just found a new favorite sentence.

     

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  29.  
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    Robert Perrault, Apr 30th, 2008 @ 2:19pm

    Re: Thought you would like to know

    Go get'em Mr. Denke ... please expose these corporate thugs.

    You just gained a new customer.

     

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  30.  
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    Ikecarumba, Nov 20th, 2008 @ 9:13am

    Monster Cable Legal Goons

    Monster Cable ( ALL other BS big money cable hucksters ) and their punk lawyers are disgusting. Kurt Denke is an inspiration... so satisfying when a little guy kicks a corporate bully's ass!
    BTW it was never Monster Park ( or 3-Com Park ) that miserable stadium always was and always will be Candlestick Park.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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