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Summary of the M-Edge Vs. Amazon Lawsuit 61

Posted by samzenpus
from the getting-the-scoop dept.
An anonymous reader writes "According to a lawsuit filed by Kindle accessory maker M-Edge, Amazon is a threatening, deceitful, and interfering big brother figure. M-Edge accuses the Kindle maker of patent infringement, contract interference, false advertising, unfair business practices, and extortion. A summary of the lawsuit and events over the course of the last 3 years paints a very dark picture of Amazon's tactics for crushing competition and stealing the best ideas from its partners. It sounds as though M-Edge may have a very strong case against Amazon, and if it wins we could see Amazon forced to remove its own Kindle accessories from Amazon.com."
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Summary of the M-Edge Vs. Amazon Lawsuit

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  • 25% now? That would explain why the costs are so high despite the quality of the accessories not being anything to write home about.
    At least, compared to the 90% cheaper Chinese knockoffs that manage to hold up just as well.

    Bezos and his leadership seems to come across as an arrogant prick, but maybe that's just me.

    • by cdrudge (68377)

      Bezos and his leadership seems to come across as an arrogant prick, but maybe that's just me.

      Steve Jobs did believe in reincarnation. I just figured it would have been someone younger, and already not a dominate leader in their industry. It would explain the rounded corners on the Kindles though.

    • by harrkev (623093)

      25% now? That would explain why the costs are so high despite the quality of the accessories not being anything to write home about.
      At least, compared to the 90% cheaper Chinese knockoffs that manage to hold up just as well.

      I don't know about that. I have a couple of their cases (for the Nook, as I avoid the Kindle), and the quality has been excellent. M-Edge is now my go-to for reader cases, party for great customer service, party because the quality is great, and partly because I love their light system

  • Careful now! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by newcastlejon (1483695) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @03:09PM (#38517956)
    From TFS:

    A summary of the lawsuit and events over the course of the last 3 years paints a very dark picture of Amazon's tactics for crushing competition and stealing the best ideas from its partners.

    *emphasis mine*
    I'm no expert, but is 'painting a picture' another one of those libel-dodging phrases like 'allegedly'?

    • by Aladrin (926209)

      That's exactly what it is.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      No, it's just figurative language that has more descriptive quality than say "indicates" or "illustrates"

    • Weasel words in a /. summary... say it ain't so :)

    • I'm no expert, but is 'painting a picture' another one of those libel-dodging phrases like 'allegedly'?

      I'm curious...what other word/phrase would you use in its place?

      • I'm curious...what other word/phrase would you use in its place?

        Either a summary of the facts already known or a quote from the actual complaint.

    • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

      That, and the actual article does no painting, nor is it a very dark picture. Amazon tried to get additional money, and I didn't see anything about patents or other infringement.

      "a look at the full suit" is a blank box with noscript enabled, but I wouldn't have to read it if the article would explain the infringement parts a bit more.

      The comments are more damning than the article.

  • by gl4ss (559668) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @03:26PM (#38518112) Homepage Journal

    they're fucking sleeves.

    on the other hand, if they got anything they're claiming that amazon did in the suit in emails, recording or on paper, then amazon is throughly fucked. and another thing, wth was amazon thinking? if they want to alter the contract retroactively to be worse for the vendor than what it is because the vendor is doing good sales then they should just have bought the company, demanding tax on all sales by the company sounds just nasty and it makes no sense that if you got high volume your % to amazon goes up!

    on yet another hand, again, they're sleeves and an opportunity product - an accessory for a device to be sold for a limited time and easily copied(which I guess why they patented it, though they might have been better off trying to find some other textile products to produce).

    • by sjames (1099)

      Normally I might have little sympathy there, but in this case they're suing the holders of the one click patent, so it may be fair play.

  • by steelfood (895457) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @03:27PM (#38518116)

    Amazon is not Google. And even Google is not "good" in any moral sense; it just doesn't engage in evil business practices. Where in the spectrum Amazon falls in, whether it's between Apple and Microsoft, or between Oracle and eBay, or some other combination thereof, is arguable. But to think that Amazon is somehow good because it's not Apple or Microsoft is just being naive (likewise for Google, but there's a strong case that Google is closer to the opposite side than the side Amazon is on).

    • by Anonymous Coward

      And even Google is not "good" in any moral sense; it just doesn't engage in evil business practices.

      Or at least they don't want you to think they do... and in your case apparently they've been successful.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yes the prophet Google, peace be upon them, has never done any wrong. Why even when engaging in proxy patent suits, doing the bidding of the Chinese government in censoring their site for many years, allowing scam sites to advertise phoney products through adsense/adwords for years, etc. Google, peace be upon them, is clearly guilty of nothing. All claims to the contrary are just FUD and less because the holy Google, peace be upon them, says they do no evil.

  • Do you expect the complainant in a lawsuit to "paint a picture" of all the great things the company they are suing is doing? Amazon may or may not be pure evil but the author of this post is a dumb as a stump.
  • by gurps_npc (621217) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @03:32PM (#38518192) Homepage
    Not a kindle, but the Nook (in part because I like to keep the books I download, as opposed to have Amazon 1984'em back.)

    It is well designed and works well with the product. The light (purchased seperately from Medge) works well with both.

    Just because they are accessories does NOT take away their contractual rights or patent rights. Medge came out with products superior to Amazons, and Amazon should not have the right to change the contract after it was signed, let alone steal Medge's superior design.

  • quick summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by rgbrenner (317308) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @03:35PM (#38518230)

    I didn't read all of it... but basically M-edge says:

    * Amazon and M-edge signed a 3 year agreement where amazon would receive 8% + an additional 7% = 15% of their sales on Amazon
    * about a year past, and amazon demanded and harassed m-edge to sign a new agreement where amazon would receive 32%. amazon threatened to delist m-edge from amazon.
    * m-edge eventually agreed to the new agreement
    * an additional period of time passed, and amazon demanded that m-edge sign a new contract where they would receive an additional 30% (or so) + 10% of all of m-edges sales to other retailers or they would be delisted.
    * m-edge refused
    * amazon sent out an 'approved kindle accessories manufacturers' list to m-edges retailers that did not include m-edge
    * retailers called medge to ask about the list, and medge lost business, and some retailers stopped ordering
    * medge continues to refuse to sign a new agreement.. amazon says medge breached prior agreement and terminates the agreement.

    medge also says amazon infringes on one of their patents... and that amazon lists medge's products as unavailable (where they should not be listed at all) and suggests amazon's own accessories instead.

    there's some other stuff about amazon withholding payments, etc... but the above is basically it.

    • Re:quick summary (Score:5, Informative)

      by rgbrenner (317308) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @03:42PM (#38518304)

      I should add: m-edge felt the need to sign the first revision because amazon accounted for 90% of their sales.

      after that, M-edge signed up other retailers.. then amazon demanded a new contract where they would receive 10% of m-edges other sales.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Amazon has a history of offering very good terms to early partners, then forcing them to agree to terms more and more in Amazon's favor. That happened to me with the Associate and Advantage program. So this sounds quite consistent. You need to watch your back when dealing with Amazon

    • If accurate, M-Edge should receive a very large refund from Amazon, along with the reinstatement of the original contract terms. Then, add a very large punitive settlement and all legal costs. And throw in 10% of Amazon's sales for a year just for good measure (since 10% is what Amazon was demanding).

    • by arkhan_jg (618674)

      M-edge stuff is available on the Amazon UK store just fine; maybe Amazon Europe is being less evil. I have two m edge cases for kindle 3s, plus the associated light. They are great and do exactly what they should. Good build quality and half the price of the Amazon own brand stuff. I hope m-edge nail Amazon to the wall over this if even a fraction of it is true.

  • DId M-Edge post this story? It sounds too good, and makes them sound like saints.

    • by rgbrenner (317308)

      It's M-edge's complaint/lawsuit... so of course it contains nothing bad about M-edge. I'm sure once Amazon's lawyers get it, they will have their own list of terrible things M-edge's did to them.

  • According to a lawsuit filed by Kindle accessory maker M-Edge, Amazon is a threatening, deceitful, and interfering big brother figure.

    What!?!? It can't be! I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked!

  • for selling Kindle accessories. They can call it...

    KINDLEss.com

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