Best of 2009: The best of the best. Of the bestest.
Only Marc Randazza can put certain things in certain ways — and on those occasions when he’s actually right (like when he’s discussing law and not politics! ;-)), man, he’s right on. Well, he’s right on today in this latest demonstration of the Streisand Effect.
As Marco explains in his not-quite-safe-for-work post, a man called Morgan, whose name only ironically reminds us of an investment bank, posted what is at best a lame, and at worst a tinfoil-hat-special, gripe site about our benevolent rulers at
Goldman Sachs. Morgan’s “mistake” — actually, the smartest thing he ever did by virtue of the big-firm, big-institution ham-handedness demonstrated here — was registering the domain names www.goldmansachs666.com and www.goldmansachs13.com — Goldman Sachs plus The Beast, of course, and Goldman Sachs plus unlucky-13 — so they would forward to his rant-a-thon.
Let’s pick it up from the middle and relatively quotable part of Marc’s post:
With Morgan’s blog plodding along in obscurity, enter John A. Squires of Chadbourne and Parke, LLP. Now this guy has an impressive background: He was top of his class in law school, on his law school’s moot court team, on law review, and an Order of the Coif inductee. Sounds like a pretty smart guy, no? Smart enough to become co-chair of the intellectual property practice at a major law firm. Smart enough that he is widely recognized in both the financial services and technology sectors as one of the country’s top experts on the issue of patent-eligible technologies.
Nevertheless, he put his name to one of the dumbest trademark demand letters I have ever read. Go ahead, click it. If you practice trademark law, don’t drink any liquids while reading or you’ll shoot them out your nose as you’re laughing and then you might have to change your shirt.
This letter seems to anecdotally confirm two things I’ve preached for years:
2) A lawyer who doesn’t understand public relations is only half a lawyer.
I’m just guessing here, but I’m reasonably certain that Mr. Squires did know better. This demand letter just screams reluctantly written to shut a client up. Patent lawyer or not, the guy had to know that his trademark claims were just plain stupid.
Not just “public relations,” but the magic of Internet-threat-letter-negative-leverage!
When will they ever learn?
More good stuff at Marc’s place, plus, in the comments, interesting insight on the legal career paths of the rich and famous.
UPDATE: “As of April 17, GoldmanSachs666.com has received more than 236,000 hits.’