Sean Egan wrote:
> Hey guys,
> I just got off the phone with one of our lawyers with an update about
> the AOL deal.
> We sought a settlement, where we would change our name in exchange for
> AOL waiving any claims against anything we're currently doing (e.g.
> reverse engineering, providing a third party client, using their icon,
> AOL is not willing to do this under the rationale that they've not
> done the research into finding out everything we're currently doing.
> They are open to a settlement where we change our name in exchange for
> a statement waiving any trademark issues they currently have against
> us, and saying they're not currently aware of anything we're doing
> that they might have some legal qualms against. The lawyers are
> currently reviewing all our correspondence with them, to see what they
> should reasonably know about. Kingant and I also have some e-mail and
> IMs with AIM's Chief Architect that could indicate that AOL should
> probably know what we're doing.
Their rationale sounds like a cop out to me. I mean we're not some
company where they can come to the office and review what we're doing.
They'd have to trust us, that we are only doing what we say we're doing.
As I'm sure they're already aware, make sure the icon is listed there,
and possibly reserve the right to use any icon they may change to. That
may be more trouble than it's worth, but IANAL. I'd also, make note to
them that we plan to support (eventually) any feature that they may
implement. But again, that may be more effort than it's worth.
> The lawyers requested the first shot at writing the language for the
> agreement, and would write it such that if they sue us for something
> they should already know about, they will have to pay us.
Personally, if they did try to sue us for something they know we're
doing, I'd rather seem them get bad publicity rather than pay us and
keep it all quiet.
> All in all, it's fairly weak and less than we hoped for. They reserve
> the right to sue us for anything they want, other than trademarks;
> they'll just have to pay us if they're suing us for something they
> should already know about. The lawyers think this is probably the best
> we can do.
I say take it, but at least consider the things I've mentioned above.
The last thing we want is to not be able to keep up on the protocol
changes because of some prior agreement that has been blown way out of
it's original context.
Gary Kramlich <grim@...>