Monday, May 23, 2005

DLO says DL NO to DVForge PodBuddy (Updated 2X)



DLO Says DL NO to DVForge


As reported by MacMinute

DVForge cancels PodBuddy due to threat from DLO

DVForge today announced that it will be unable to launch and sell the previously announced PodBuddy product due to a disagreement with DLO (Digital Lifestyle Outfitters) over a patent that it holds. "We have been informed by DLO that they consider our PodBuddy to be an infringement of their company's U.S. patent #6,591,085, and, that they will file suit against us, if we launch the PodBuddy," notes the announcement. "We disagree with DLO's claim, and, we believe that our PodBuddy is so utterly different from their company's TransPod product that there can be no question of infringement. But, we are not able to fund the sort of protracted legal battle that would be required to prove our point in court. So, we are forced to kill the PodBuddy."




I remember Jack saying in these forums that he had never been sued or never received a cease and decist.

If I am correct, this lawsuit has been on the table for some time.

While I believe the patent that DLO holds is very broad in scope, they do have the right to protect that patent and certainly they feel they have a strong case.

Basic outline text of patent:

An FM transmitter and power supply/charging assembly electrically coupleable with an MP3 player. The assembly includes a modular docking unit having a main body portion with a docking cavity therein, wherein the main body portion contains the FM transmitter and power/charging circuitry, with coupling means in the docking cavity for connecting the MP3 player with the FM transmitter and power/charging circuitry, to accommodate FM transmission by the FM transmitter of audio content when played by the MP3 player in the docking cavity of the modular docking unit, and adapted for transmitting electrical power through the modular docking unit and the power/charging circuitry therein, for charging of a battery of the MP3 player and/or powering of the MP3 player.


The patent is as found here

Looks like DLO could easily go after Griffin as well for their RoadTrip and INSTEN for their car charger/combo for the iPod.

I guess we also have to ask ourselves, with the multiple delays that the PodBuddy has seen - was it a real product? Did DVForge try to source parts from the same as DLO's or is DLO just trying to stop this one from coming to the market?

It will be interesting to see how this shakes out because Griffin Technologies pockets are deep - so I would like to see their defense if they drop the RoadTrip.


Update: An email sent to me:

In your story about FM combo transmitters, you failed to note that Griffin's does not infringe on DLO patents because (among other reasons) the FM transmitter unit is separable from the charging unit. This is unlike DV Forge’s or Belkin’s transmitters


This may be so - I'm not 100% sure this makes a difference and falls in line with my previous comment and should apply here

Apparently the patent infringement notice is NOT for Griffin as earlier surmised - as it stands - it is against DVForge and PodGear. The PodGear CarDockFM being an infringement is a no brainer. Podgear has no shame whatsoever with it's offering.

http://www.podgear.net/cardockFm.html

The Podbuddy may very well be different - but had the Transpod been copied directly there would be no question of infringement - the PodBuddy matches the patent description for the Transpod precisely.

"We disagree with DLO's claim, and, we believe that our PodBuddy is so utterly different from their company's TransPod product that there can be no question of infringement. But, we are not able to fund the sort of protracted legal battle that would be required to prove our point in court."


Yet DVForge can afford to award a $25,000 prize for a bogus contest, is growing at the astronomical rate of %600 a year (right column), is well funded (same page), etc etc

And ... the Podbuddy may very well be different - but had you copied it directly there would be no question of infringement - the PodBuddy matches the patent description for the Transpod precisely.

And ... hey Jack .... GIVE THIS WEBSITE FIRST DIBS NEXT TIME!!!

...

11 comments:

Joel Mueller said...

Seems they can afford a lawsuit of this type, given they think they could sell as many PodBuddy's as Jack claims.

They were able to afford a huge MacMice booth at the Expo, give away a free Mazda Miata, move into a new building, grow "600%" supposively and more.

It always seems like there's more behind the scenes, but that's just my opinion.

Jack Campbell said...

I am not at liberty to reveal the names, but, we learned that DLO served cease and desist letters to us and several other 3rd party FM transmitter makers. They have also actually filed suit against one of the largest companies in the industry... which is the factor that led us to realize they are serious about spending legal dollars.

My guess is that DLO's cash reserve is as much as ten times ours, as we are presently very, very deeply invested into several new products for pre-Christmas launch. Basically, I have no unbudgeted cash to spend on a substantial legal fight, when it's our point that would have to be proven; i.e, that the DLO patent was flawed and wrongly issued. Hope fully, that larger company will make the case for all of us.

And, Philip, I think it is uncanny how you can find a way to twist me into the bad guy role in nearly any set of circumstances. Amazing... and predictable.

fixyourthinking said...

Jack, I don't make anyone out to be a bad guy, I give a summary through editorials here - you are the one who uses the words "evil, bad guy, etc"

If you paid attention - you'd actually see that I regularly call you "genius"

It's quite easy to pick on you though because you are WAY too vocal - why do we not see JeffWhispers, PaulWhispers - because they know when to keep their mouth shut, when to consult an attorney, and when to accept criticism.

Jack Campbell said...

Actually, I'm pleased to discuss my business a little more openly than most CEOs. I do this to have some fun, cap off a long career (that had a hole shot through the middle), find a little late-life success, and, make a little money. I am just not wound as tight as most guys scrambling for every penny they can get their mitts on. I think cool products are fun, that customers are important, and, that business should have a substantial entertainment factor.

I'm more apt to pick P.T. Barnum or Walt Disney as a successful business role model, than say, Andrew Carnegie or Bill Gates. If I get hit by a bus in the morning, I can wink out knowing that at least I had some fun, and cheered up a few people today.

buzmania said...

I read through JW's article and can't find an instance where there's any twisting of anyone into a "bad guy." Pointing out areas of inconsistency is not the same as calling someone a "bad guy."

As to DLO's position, no one can know that they do or do not have a cash reserve for a legal defense; however, it is clear that they are serious about defending their technology and intend to make a point. While their patent may indeed be broad, the fact is this: they applied for it early on and were awarded it as it stands. Anyone that sought to make a similar product and didn't do an adequate patent search beforehand is therefore in a predictable dilemma. I fail to see how DLO could possibly lose a legal defense of technology that clearly belongs to them.

Finally, Jack needs to get over the notion that people that point out problems with his products or business practices are "wound too tight" or aren't "fun-loving" and if they get hit by a bus won't wink out as happily as he. I'm all for having fun in whatever your occupation is, but if you're having fun at the expense of turning a casual eye toward customer service, business ethics, or other standard proprieties don't expect other people to be tolerant of your "fun."

JW is right; he clearly admires a lot of what you do and has expressed this in past articles. Additionally, he clearly likes what he does (with this website) and appears to be having a lot of "fun" doing it. Anytime he points out something that you or your company is doing improperly he cites statistics or news articles or even your own quotations. He is not assuming anything. You, on the other hand, in one column have assumed the following:

DLO's patent was awarded improperly.
DLO has "ten times" the legal funds you do.
Other business CEOs don't enjoy their work.
Peopel that criticize you are "wound too tight."
JW thinks you are a "bad guy."
People admire P.T. Barnum.

This last one is a very bad assumption. I'm not sure that I would publicly express that a role model of mine was someone that is best known for the quote:
"There's a sucker born every minute."

fixyourthinking said...

I am just not wound as tight as most guys scrambling for every penny they can get their mitts on. ~ Jack Campbell

Said just like the snake oil salesman to the old lady who's just not sure if she should buy it.

If you're not wound up tighter than a snare drum - why do you even WORRY when someone posts about you on the internet. As you can see - you fuel these fires. If you wouldn't respond, other articles would take the place, it would eventually get buried - and life would go on. Instead, with every hit, with every response, google searches build - have you even checked out your google search lately?

I think cool products are fun, that customers are important, and, that business should have a substantial entertainment factor.

Cool products are fun. Customers are important. Business is business though. A business not in the entertainment industry that thinks it's there to entertain the world through it's CEO's exposition is not there for his employees, friends, and family.

Your priorities need to be set straight, then money follows:

1)Your higher power
2)Your family
3)Your friends
4)Your employees
5)Your customers
6) Yourself

At DVForge, Jack Campbell is 1 through 6!

You are famous, no doubt Jack Campbell - this seems to have been your goal. Paypal is famous too - just go to PaypalSucks.com!

Jack Campbell said...

buzzmania: At least I actually study history, before citing it. You can unearth your error, here.

Jack Campbell said...

buzzmania: You also assume that I am assuming the information I cite. I am not.

As for the notion that people finding fault wiht any of our products are too tightly wound, I hold no such notion. I hold the notion that people who do not buy our products, and then vetch on the web, at tremendous length and effort, might be a little too tightly wound. Anyone who buys one of our products, and has any sort of problem wiht it, we instantly take care of them. Those people, our actual customers, don't seem to be spewing petty gripes all over the web.

Why are you, when they don't?

buzmania said...

Wow, a URL to prove a point. Here's another one:
http://www.giga-usa.com/quotes/
authors/phineas_taylor_barnum_a001.htm

Here's a second one:
http://www.creativequotations.com/
one/1319.htm

A third one mentions that it is "unclear" whether he said it or not:
http://www.answers.com/topic/p-t-barnum

Whether he actually said it or not, P.T. Barnum is still known for that quote. Ask anyone this question: "What did P.T. Barnum say?" and see if they don't mention that "quote."

As to your assertion that customers aren't complaining, it is very clear that the whole article arose out of one of JackWhispers' clients mentioning to him that the picture was different than the actual product he purchased and was shipped. Hmmmm, someone that bought your product in order to use it based on a picture and description. Sounds like a customer to me. His gripe wasn't petty to him and I don't think anyone can blame him.

Why do I care when I don't purchase your products? I don't suppose that Consumer Reports buys the products that they report on either but that does not make them less credible. It is my intention to support consumer advocates like JackWhispers to protect Mac and iPod customers from such incidents.

Your attempts at justifying your actions and defending your bad practices are no more impressive than your "knowledge of history." You don't "cite" anything in your comments, so yes, they are assumptions. You can't even decide whether you're a small business operating off of two folding tables or an international company that is growing at a rate of 600%, so how are we supposed to view your comments as credible?

And by the way, it's "buzmania" with one "z", not two. Seeing my name mispelled gets me all wound up too tight and takes all the fun out of my life.(heh,heh)

fixyourthinking said...

From the site Jack linked to:

"Barnum is also affiliated with the famous quote "There's a sucker born every minute." History, unfortunately, has misdirected this quotation. Barnum never did say it. Actually, it was said by his competitor. Here's the incredible story."

Ok, that's fair, but I'm with Buzmania - he is most famous for that line. And actually, I did know that part of history.

The link at HistoryBuff.com that you pointed to is slightly inaccurate though.

As far as I am aware, everyone (read as competition) hated PT Barnum because when he came in to town, he swindled advertisers, a lot of attendees of his exhibits felt cheated, he lied to his audiences, he brought a lot of riff raff in to the towns he visited, etc etc.

One of the most famous things PT Barnum was known for was "The Mysterious Egres" - he promoted it heavily a week or two before his travelling show would arrive in your town. He would even send plants that would try to hype it in the town square, try to get reporters to put it in papers, etc etc.

Turns out, "The Mysterious Egres" was the exit. That's it. It wasn't an ordinary exit though. Alll throughout every exhibit, there would be pictures of dragons that said Egres on them, there were plants that would run out of the building. At the end of the exhibit, there was a dark tunnel with a sign that said, "Finally, feast your eyes on the Mysterious Egres" - the Egres was the door with a dragon head, you walked through the mouth to leave!

This is when the competition started to say of PT Barnum and anyone who patronized him, "There's a sucker born every minute"

I have studied the life of PT Barnum and Robert Ripley extensively.

Do you understand that is WHY there is a ringmaster as the logo for this site? The ringmaster, who looks similar to you, is shouting ... yet the site is called Jackwhispers?

Your website is no less than a series of fantasy statistics and descriptions that are NO different than saying, "Hurry Hurry Hurry Step Right Up..." and promoting common USB Mice and other peripherals as Barnum promoted the Egres.

Your shouts, your rants, your statistics, your shows, your fake contests (as with any person similar to showmen such as Barnum & Ripley) are all the same. Barnum and Ripley were con men - they were also GENIUS. Most criminals, most con men - are idiots - they either get caught or don't have the savvy to pull off their hoax or con.

PT Barnum lives on (in name) through the Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus. You will live on through this website and through your various posts you place on the web.

People will remember this line when they think of Jack Campbell:

"Anyone who would *not* lie to protect their business from an attacking competitor is suspect in my mind" ~ Jack Campbell

And admit it, Jack - you find truth and quality of character in that statement.

Everyone associates the words, "There's a sucker born every second", with PT Barnum, NOT a great show or Barnum's competition.

Most everyone associates Jack Campbell with JackWhispers NOT MacMice DVForge or your competition!

There is chance yet for you to turn around. This site is here for you to point out the path. It's here for others to see how to avoid the path you are on.

fixyourthinking said...

I'd also like to point out something in defense of a reader:

Jack said: buzzmania: At least I actually study history, before citing it. You can unearth your error, here.

Buzmania said:I'm not sure that I would publicly express that a role model of mine was someone that is best known for the quote:
"There's a sucker born every minute."


No where, in Buzmania's quote do I see, "PT Barnum said..."

Jackwhispers is best known for the quote:

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" - Martin Luther King Jr said that.

Your strategy, as always, is to subtly discredit your critics with irrelevant nitpicky comments.