First Coffee for October 20, 2005

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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First Coffee for October 20, 2005

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Sticky Fingers, the Rolling Stones’ second-greatest album. We’ll have no argument about that objective fact:

Guess you’ve heard by now, but in case you haven’t Motorola, Inc. has filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois against Mike Zafirovski (“Zafirovsky” in Reuters reporting) who was recently appointed as president and chief executive officer of Nortel effective November 15, 2005.

The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that Zafirovski (Nortel’s spelling), who resigned earlier this year as Motorola’s president and chief operating officer, has breached various agreements with Motorola by accepting a position with Nortel, since it will “inevitably” result in the use or disclosure of Motorola’s trade secrets.

The lawsuit seeks, among other relief, an injunction to enjoin Zafirovski from rendering services to Nortel for two years, from soliciting or hiring Motorola employees, and from using or disclosing Motorola’s confidential information.

The lawsuit does not name Nortel as a defendant, but the injunctive relief requested is against Zafirovski and his employers, among others.

Basically Motorola’s accusing Zafirovski of violating noncompete agreements he signed before starting work at Motorola. Zafirovski left Motorola at the beginning of the year after being passed over for promotion to the top job there, according to Reuters reports.

Zafirovski was given millions of dollars in cash, stock and stock options to agree not to work for a Motorola competitor for two years after leaving the company, the lawsuit says, putting the total compensation for spending the next two years trout fishing and doing crossword puzzles at $30 million.

First CoffeeSM hereby wishes it to be known that he will promise in iron-clad writing involving children and bodily parts not to work for a Motorola competitor for the next two – heck, make it ten – years in exchange for similar terms.

In other lawyer-enrichment news Synopsys Inc.’s recent claims of patent infringement against Magma Design Automation not only “rely on patents that are invalid,” but also constitute a “violation of United States antitrust law,” Magma has asserted in a court filing.

Magma, a provider of semiconductor design software, in reply to Synopsys’ Sept. 26 lawsuit, filed an answer to complaint and counterclaims disputing Synopsys’ claims on the basis that the applications Synopsys made to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office knowingly concealed relevant prior art that described the inventions claimed in the applications.

Magma’s counterclaim asserts that not only is the existence of this prior art a basis for rendering patents invalid, but that to knowingly exclude relevant prior art from an application to the U.S. PTO constitutes a fraudulent application, and that Synopsys’ Sept. 26 lawsuit against Magma was therefore an attempt to enforce a fraudulently obtained patent and constitutes a violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

David Stanley, Magma special counsel and therefore a completely unbiased source for opinions on the question, opined that “filing for patents with such flagrant and knowing disregard for relevant prior art seems at the very least an embarrassing act, but to then attempt to enforce such patents in the interest of exploiting a dominant market position is an outright violation of U.S. laws of commerce.”

In late September Magma said it considered the Synopsys lawsuits against it to be without merit and indicative of “desperate” tactics by Synopsys.

Synopsys filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court a claim of unfair competition against Magma, based on Magma’s actions in defending itself in the federal patent case between the two companies. Synopsys also filed on Monday a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware claiming that Magma infringes three patents held by Synopsys, one of which Synopsys gained in its 2004 acquisition of Monterey Design Systems.

Attention, earthlings. It has come to First CoffeeSM’s attention that dogs are highly organized creatures from an alternate universe, and that they are not, in fact, our friends.

Disagree? Then how do you explain this news item from Albuquerque, New Mexico yesterday?

The author of a new state law that allows felony charges against owners of dangerous dogs was hospitalized over the weekend after his own dog attacked him.

Bob Schwartz, who also is Gov. Bill Richardson’s crime adviser, was hospitalized at University of New Mexico Hospital on Sunday night with bites on both his arms, said Pahl Shipley, a spokesman for the governor.

A hospital spokeswoman declined to release Schwartz’s condition, but Shipley said Schwartz is “going to be fine.”

A random attack, you say. Weird coincidence. Could’ve happened to anybody.

Right. I got your coincidence. Ask any police detective how much he trusts that the “coincidences” he encounters investigating crimes are entirely coincidental. Anyone near the scene during the carefully-planned attack would have learned the dog words for “felonize this, buddy.”

Schwartz has three dogs registered with the city: a boxer and two English bulldogs, said Denise Wilcox, who oversees Albuquerque’s animal care centers.

Schwartz was instrumental in getting a law passed during this year’s regular legislative session that would allow felony charges to be filed against owners of dogs deemed dangerous or potentially dangerous and that seriously injure or kill another animal or person.

The law was designed to make dog owners accountable, said Sen. Sue Wilson Beffort, who worked with Schwartz to pass the bill.

That this guy was attacked by his dogs is about as coincidental as Abraham Lincoln being shot by John Wilkes Booth: “Aw heck, I was just aiming at anyone, actually I thought I’d hit Major Rathbone, it’s just bad luck that the president’s head got in the way of the bullet.”

Fellow humans, the dogs have fired a warning shot across our bow. The next move is up to us.

First CoffeeSM isn’t sure if this is a joke, but a group calling themselves Community Voice Mail, describing themselves as “a grassroots charity,” engaged in providing “phone numbers and voice mail to the homeless and hurricane victims in 37 cities and 19 states,” has a nifty gift idea.

Individuals can send holiday e-cards to friends and family for seven bucks apiece, which pays for one hurricane victim or homeless person to have voice mail for one month. Seriously. We’re reading off the press release, folks.

It could be true: A few Christmases ago everyone in First CoffeeSM’s family got a certificate from Oxfam or some other ultra-leftist outfit like that, saying that in lieu of giving us presents, one sister had, in a tax-deductible donation, purchased livestock in our names to be given to somebody else. So instead of receiving a present from this sister, First CoffeeSM had supposedly given someone in some hellhole twelve chickens, Mom had given someone else a pig, another sister had given someone in Africa four geese, etc.

The next year First CoffeeSM sent this sister a certificate saying a donation had been made in her name to the National Rifle Association to buy a cattle rancher in Wyoming a case of 30.06 shotgun shells, next year she got one for a donation in her name to the Daughters Of The Confederacy for maintaining Confederate graves in Mississippi.

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