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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From Mark Schubin's Monday memo:


"Warren's Consumer Electronics Daily (+1 202 872-9200) reported

Thursday that D&M doesn't consider itself a party to any Sonicblue

lawsuits, which might be why they chose to buy the assets post

bankruptcy."


That's it. No more details or sources.
 

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Which I suppose means that since the defendant (sonicblue) no longer has any of the assets that purportedly caused infringement, any lawsuits would have to be refilled against D&M and start over from scratch.
 

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I agree that they're not party to the lawsuit. If they bought SB, they would be. But they didn't. They bought ReplayTV. The lawsuit was against SB. It's akin to you buying a chair from a company. That doesn't mean that you are liable for anything the previous company did with the chair :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So they saved over $5 million and avoided a migraine by waiting a couple of weeks. Good going D&M!
 

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I don't see how they avoided anything. The "Media Oligopolies" will simply sue D&M and end their suit of SB. Of course, it will cost them new court fees, but these are cheap compared to losing all of your revenue. Maybe that is the plan... keep selling RTV so the suits never make it to trial.


Cheers
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by RandyL712
I agree that they're not party to the lawsuit. If they bought SB, they would be. But they didn't. They bought ReplayTV. The lawsuit was against SB. It's akin to you buying a chair from a company. That doesn't mean that you are liable for anything the previous company did with the chair :)
Yes, but if you bought a warehouse of chairs that purportedly violated a patented design, then the party that sued the chair manufacturer for patent violation could later sue you.


Actually I think it's just a matter of time before the suit is revived against D&M. I suppose D&M could try to negotiate a settlement before the suit is refilled against them. But I'm actually hoping the suit is refilled quickly, otherwise D&M will probably have sold us out on CA and Showsharing.
 

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Anyone can sue anyone at any time. We're not talking about the possibility of D+M getting sued, it's a distinct possibility. But - they didn't buy the current lawsuit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Amazingly Smooth
but these are cheap compared to losing all of your revenue.
Seems you've bought the party line. ;)

I kinda remember that VCRs were going to kill Hollywood once and for all.....
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by RandyL712
I agree that they're not party to the lawsuit. If they bought SB, they would be. But they didn't. They bought ReplayTV. The lawsuit was against SB. It's akin to you buying a chair from a company. That doesn't mean that you are liable for anything the previous company did with the chair :)
The lawsuits I have seen described certainly named ReplayTV as a defendant. It seems very unlikely that ReplayTV, Inc. was not named along with SONICblue in all of the suits. When SONICblue filed for bankruptcy protection, ReplayTV, Inc. filed as well. SONICblue purchased a corporation named ReplayTV, Inc. and continued to operate that company for over 2 years. If D&M continues to manufacture and sell PVRs with the controversial features, D&M may likely be added as a defendant in the suit against ReplayTV, as I don't know if a new suit will have to be filed or not.


Chris
 

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I guess the REAL question is ... did D&M but the ASSETS or ReplayTV, Inc.?


Remember you can buy intellectual property, Physical property, trademarks and copyrights without buying the company.
 

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Baysidebas, I thought you knew better than to post something like this (or, come to think of it, I guess you did ;) ).


As for the substance, of course D&M is buying assets and is not assuming the lawsuit. Here's an excerpt fromn the press release:


"TOKYO, April 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- D&M Holdings Inc.

(TSE II: 6735), parent company of Denon, Ltd. and Marantz Japan, Inc.,

announced today that it was successful in a bid to acquire certain assets

comprising the digital video recorder and MP3 business units of SONICblue

Incorporated, a U.S. company....D&M Holdings is purchasing inventory, receivables, intellectual property and capital equipment....."


But this is completely insignificant, so I don't know why anyone is dwelling on it. D&M will make a business decision to either keep the offending features, in which case D&M will be joined in the litigation and have to defend it going forward, or remove the offending features, in which case we'll scream bloody murder and they'll lose a bunch of current and future customers. Simple business choice. What's so complicated, here???
 

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So then the media has to refile the lawsuits and spend a whole lot more cash ( I doubt you just erase "Sonic Blue" and type in "D&M") and go up against someone with much deeper pockets????

Sure will be interesting.


I'm waiting for the endless "D & M wont spend the XXXX dollars (fill-in your own made up number here) to be part of a lawsuit and will gut the machine, but I won' mind losing......." scenarios.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by adone36
So then the media has to refile the lawsuits and spend a whole lot more cash ( I doubt you just erase "Sonic Blue" and type in "D&M") and go up against someone with much deeper pockets????

Sure will be interesting....
No, it really wouldn't be terribly expensive to join D&M as a party. Remember, this is an almost purely legal question about the replay technology that D&M is inheriting -- it's hard to see much that is fact specific about SB versus D&M. A nominal expense, I would guess.

Quote:
Originally posted by adone36
I'm waiting for the endless "D & M wont spend the XXXX dollars (fill-in your own made up number here) to be part of a lawsuit and will gut the machine, but I won' mind losing......." scenarios.
Yep, breathless, frantic posts will abound, no doubt. But you know, I miss the doorstop threads, so this will be a nice replacement.
 

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PUT SIMPLY


If the media companies believed, as I am sure they did, that they had a case they CAN simply (yes I mean simply) file against D&M. It could happen shortly after D&M sell a single box with the feature enabled, named in the lawsuit. Why would anyone think that D&M buying replayTV would make the problem go away as if sprinkled with fairy dust?


If you need proof to this ovious fact, just look at all the thousands of cases around Asbestos. I think all of the original companies were aquired years ago and yet the aquiring companies, whom don't even sell the Asbestos today, are still liable and being sued daily.


The media companies have the deepest pockets and I hope they lose but sue they will, of that you can be sure.
 

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>>No, it really wouldn't be terribly expensive to join D&M as a party.


Minor point: any litigation against a party filing bankruptcy is automatically stayed by the bankruptcy filing, and the plaintiffs would need to get the bankruptcy court to grant relief from the automatic stay before the existing suits could proceed. So most likely it would be easier to file a new, separate suit against D&M.
 

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So the question I now have for the People who as Alan says want endless "gut the machine threads" to replace the "doorstopper" threads, is what exactly is the tremendous technology that D & M had to acquire to allow them to produce a gutted Replay? A decoder/encoder? Writing data to a hard disk?? A guide service maybe?



If you are SB, it is easier to be intimidated by the big media companies because you have to hire legions of lawyers versed in specialized law. But I think for a company the size of D & M, this is just something else for the legal department to do. I believe D & M wants a Replay to be a Replay and would consider the worst case scenario regarding the prosecution of a lawsuit to be "the cost of doing business". Remember you're dealing with a Japanese company, not an American one.
 

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Another interesting result of the studios lawsuit against Sonic Blue is that it helped drive a US company out of business and their technology to be sold to a Japanese company.


It's kind of sad that local innovation seems to end up being pushed offshore by media giants trying to protect their old antiquated business models.
 

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History doesn't show forcing US technology to other countries. It shows the American business model where companies are forced by their stockholders to show an instant profit and all item immediately. The history of Japanese companies is based more on "faith" if you will. Historically if Japanese companies think something will be big they will invest copious energy and absorb losses to fulfill their concept. They will even LOSE money for a decade, if it leads to eventual control of a market. There are hundreds of examples of this.
 

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I keep hearing people saying that D&M has deeper pockets than SB. That's just not true. From what I can see, besides having larger initial investors (Phillips, etc.) D&M isn't a much bigger company than SonicBlue in it's prime. Several years ago, SB had revenues of $536 million. For last year, SB had revenues of $270 million a year. Forecasts for D&M this year are $650 million in revenue and $27 million in profit. So predictions that D&M has more money to fight the lawsuit and to fund lots of new technology are just not true.


I think the best we can hope for is that D&M will have better management than SB had and will do everything in their power to grow the business and not make bad decisions.


See this link for D&M info:
http://www.twice.com/index.asp?layou...cleid=CA252203


See this link for SB 2000 Annual report:
http://www.replaytv.com/pdfs/company...ual-Report.pdf
 
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