Brokerage Firm Sues Former Analyst Accusing Him Of Online Vendetta… And Patent Infringement?

from the say-what? dept

There’s some news spreading today about how Rodman & Renshaw Capital Group (famous, in part, for having General Wesley Clark running the show these days) is suing a former analyst for the firm. The specifics of the case appear to be that the analyst has set up a website to publicize the conditions under which he was let go. According to him, it was after he wanted to downgrade a stock, and the firm pressured him not to do so, as the company was a client on the investment banking side of the house. This, of course, is the sort of thing that happens all the time on Wall Street, and which was supposed to have stopped after all of the lawsuits and conflict of interest problems from a few years ago. Of course, most people recognize it never really stopped at all, and we’ve heard plenty of complaints from analysts about such pressure — so it’s no surprise that at least one case would eventually become public. There are two interesting points about the lawsuit, though. First, with all of the press coverage this is receiving, it’s actually getting Rodman & Renshaw a lot more negative publicity than if they’d just let this guy keep his site up. Second, according to Rodman’s lawyers, they’re not so upset about the site the guy setup but for “patent infringement and cyber-squatting.” I assume the cyber-squatting is about the site that was set up… but what’s the patent infringement charge for? One possibility is the reporter got it wrong (as we can only find that in one press story), but it appears there as a direct quote, suggesting it’s specifically what the lawyer said. It’s possible that the lawyer meant trademark or copyright infringement… but you’d think a lawyer would understand the differences.

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