When one is the subject of a careless character assassination, one likes to know, “who is the assassin.” In the shadow world of corporations, it is often difficult to pin the tail on the donkey. If a corporation accuses an individual of “fraud,” it is natural for the individual to find out who is behind the corporate charge, before trying to find out why. Parting the corporate veil and revealing the wizard is sometimes surprising.
When Grasshopper Inc. defends a simple patent charge with “inequitable conduct,” the atomic bomb of patent law, the question of motive, becomes paramount. Accusing an inventor/lawyer of fraud is a dirty move and takes the focus off the pirate and puts it on the innovator. A public corporation, however, files an annual statement. The annual statement of Grasshopper, Inc. (not its real name) has the following paragraph:
“SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT
As of March 31, 2011, Lawrence J. Ellison, through entities controlled by him, held a majority of the voting power of our outstanding stock. As a result, Mr. Ellison controls the election of all members of our board of directors and all other matters submitted to a vote of our stockholders as to which the vote required is a majority of the outstanding voting power. Mr. Ellison is Chief Executive Officer of Oracle Corporation.”
Well, with the retirement of Bill Gates and the untimely death of Steve Jobs (and the disturbing takeover of Apple by the Brits), it is refreshing to know that the new nemesis of the old reptile is a living, breathing human being of mythical proportions, the man who would be Emperor. (capitalized in deference to his true majesty).
While the ol’ reptile has pointed out the danger of Oracle monetizing Java on the backs of the open source people and has admittedly criticized Larry Ellison as a “bad boy,” particularly with his America’s Cup monument, yet the reptile has conceded that he is, nevertheless our bad boy. He is the P. Diddy of NorCal.
Perhaps I am mistaken, it is not really Larry Ellison, but a move by his minions or the minions of a syndicate of which Larry is only a part. Anyway, it is a cowardly move, and a move ultimately resting on the doorstep of Larry Ellison (the ol’ buck stops here stuff). The reptile may have only a small reputation to destroy, but doggone it, it is a reputation of a proud and honest American. (music swells).
The old reptile is calling you out, Larry. This is a classic bully case and recalls one reported in “Proceedings in Chancery, from the Reign of Richard the Second to that of Queen Elizabeth, inclusive, from the Originals in the Tower, Vol. I.,” (pub. 1827).
The case was about a pleading that ordinarily would have been brought at law, for example, in the kings court, for damages, but was brought in equity because of the financial power of the wrongdoer and the poverty of the petitioner. The published translation (which almost itself needs translation) is:
“To the very honourable and gracious lord the bishop of Winchester, Chancellor of England,
BESEECHETH humbly your poor orator John Thomas of Trevylen in the county of Cornwall labourer, that whereas he was peaceably seised and possessed for eight years and upwards of a tin work in the moor of Crukbargis in the county aforesaid according to the custom and usage of the same county, until the Friday next before the feast of Saint Philip and James last past, when John Wyse of Pentewen in the same county, a great common embracer and maintainer of Quarrels, and John Clerk of Boswythgy in the same county yeoman, by excitation and procurement of the aforesaid John Wyse, came with a great multitude of people unknown, arrayed in manner of war with force and arms, and without reasonable cause, into the work aforesaid, and there ousted and disinherited the said suppliant of the work aforesaid, and in his tin there found to the value of forty pounds tortiously took and carried away, for the which he is indebted to divers labourers there working in the same work in twenty marks. to the perpetual loss and destruction of the said suppliant, if he be not aided and remedied by your gracious Lordship in this behalf; by reason the the said John Wyse is so strong and abounding in riches and so great a maintainer of quarrels in this country, and the said suppliant so poor and hath not the means to sue for remedy at the common law. Please your very gracious Lordship to consider the matter abovesaid and the great poverty of the said suppliant to grant two writs, the one to the said John Wyse the other to the said John Clerk [commanding them] upon certain pain by your very gracious lordship to be limited, to be before you in the very honourable Court of the Chancery at the quinzisme of S’ John the Baptist next coming, to be examined upon the matter aforesaid: and this for [the love of} God and in work of charity.”
While John Wyse, as Larry Ellison, is certainly the ringleader, the identity of John Clerk is a mystery. Perhaps he is that partner, Michael Milken, a man, who himself has spent so much money on rehabilitating his reputation, tainted by fraud. That a man on the mend would condone such an attack on an individual’s reputation is a conundrum. Particularly if it was for some picayune case not worth a hill of beans.
The defamation of character was so inarticulate that the old reptile doesn’t know if it is the reptile, his father, or his ancestral family that is accused of deceit. Blame it on the New England witches.
Nevertheless, we have a couple of billionaire bullies beating up an impoverished inventor over a couple of bucks.
Well, as Scoop Nisker always said, “If you don’t like the news, then go out and make some of your own.”