This is the problem with the legal system. According to the players, judge, attorneys, etc., everyone pretty much deserves their day in court. Even for ridiculous complaints from vexatious litigants. The court would not interfere with their rights to go to court.
That said, a single small bar being sued by a huge tobacco company over trademark infringement is pretty implausible. But the judge may just be waiting for the defendant to bring a reasonable Motion for Summary Judgment, which might cost them $100,000 to bring. Which they may not be able to afford to bring. And they'd need some discovery first.
This is why huge corporations have such an advantage. Lorrilard has good revenues, they can bring nuisance suits against anyone they want. There is nothing a little guy can do about it.
The court won't dismiss it on their own, the defendant would have to bring them a reason. The judge might be eager for that to happen. But it'll never happen on it's own, our legal system is based on advocacy, which sometimes means whoever has the best lawyers wins, no matter how ridiculous the argument.
The loser pays system in Great Britain would take the wind out of some of these, but no one is advocating that here. Even me. Sadly.
If you want to read a fascinating case look up Tabberone, http://www.tabberone.com/Trademarks/trademarks.shtml A husband and wife who got sued for trademark infringement and defended it themselves, and won against a huge corporation, maybe Disney or Warner Bros. It's quite a read.
Why did government agencies allow per ticket commissions?
Because they just didn't think it was going to be a problem. At the time, they couldn't see a problem.
They had no idea that dishonest camera vendors would think that manipulating the evidence, blatant forgery, stuff like that was somehow OK. They just didn't think it would be a problem.
In government affairs there are always unintended consequences.
This unintended consequence is that dishonest vendors were desperate for more revenue, and realized that even if they get caught it's not likely anyone would think to prosecute them for forgery. They knew it was just illegal. They're not stupid.
That's what we need to prove them wrong on. Prosecute them, both the employees and the company.
What is incomprehensible is that the workers at those companies who forged the evidence likely made no extra money themselves for their forgery.
I have never had an employer ask me to do something illegal or even dishonest for the company, and I wouldn't be involved in anything like that.
Clearly there are people who think lying, cheating, stealing for an employer is somehow proper.
I am against such automated enforcement, I like to face my accuser.
In California we used to have red light camera contracts which allowed the camera vendor to share in the fine. So the more fines, the more money they and the government agency made.
This was all changed some years ago and now camera vendors do not participate in any "profits". They are paid a flat rate, monthly fee for the camera system, they don't make any more money if more citations are issued.
So the camera vendors have no incentive to do anything like they did in this MD case.
As I said, I am against the whole thing, but my approach would be for the citizens in every jurisdiction to tell their elected representatives they want all conflicts of interest removed and cameras either made illegal or the payments to the vendors should be volume neutral.
No funny business.
As to this case, I think the camera vendor should be prosecuted, and if they are found to have forged evidence they should be fined and the corporation dissolved.
On second thought I would say "We may well have such scanner devices manufactured by Hewlett Packard, Brother, Xerox, Fujitsu, Canon and perhaps others. Each of them provided the equipment and licensed software to operate the equipment."
Then send out copies to each of those companies legal departments and their sales managers for this equipment.
See if the patent trolls have time to respond to discovery from 5 or 10 lawfirms. Fun!
This is what you call "finding your natural allies".
BTW, I actually do have all that scanner equipment. All different brands too. From Fortune 100 companies with legal departments and outside counsel on retainer. Great fun!
I think this is a pretty easy matter to deal with.
I would write them a letter and CC the scanner vendor's legal department. I'd say "We bought that scanner from Hewlett Packard (just an example), and they provided the software that we use with it. If there is a licensing issue take it up with them. We are their licensee."
If they happened to sue me I'd counter sue Hewlett Packard and bring them in. After all, they put me up to it by selling me the machine and providing that software. If it has to be licensed, they ought to have done that.
It'd just not my problem past that.
Now, if Hewlett Packard was countersued on 300 of these lawsuits they would have to do something, wouldn't they? Or they would be out of business.
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