It’s not a very exciting story and way too much to write but here’s a cliffs notes version of the events.
It all started when a friend of mine told me he saw my product in some mail order catalog. Sure as shit, there it was and after a little more digging I find it in other catalogs as well. I contacted the catalog companies and said to pull the product or get sued because I did not authorize this and someone had stolen my patent. They complied immediately.
After a little investigating I found out who the manufacturing company selling my product was and sent them a cease and desist letter and that a lawsuit was being filed to reclaim damages. I even found that the owner’s business partner or marketing head claimed that she invented the product herself on her LinkedIn page. Unreal!
After a lot of back and forth we agreed to not sue but to enter a contractual agreement that entitled me to get a guaranteed quarterly fee to license them the use of the product and a royalty percentage on each individual sale, plus the right to audit them to make sure that they are not lying about the sales numbers. It was good for them and me since they had a lot invested in inventory and sales were doing well.
Fast forward, they missed payment deadlines, said sales weren’t as good as expected, and used other bullshit excuses to justify their breach of contract. I didn’t give a fuck, a contract is a contract. A cease and desist was once again issued and a suit was being brought against them. This company has been in business for a long time and have hundreds of products in their catalog that are being sold to this day, so the not having money excuse did not go over with me at all.
Lawsuit was filed and delivered, but the piece of shit thief kept ignoring it until last minute to prolong it and probably wear me down mentally and monetarily. I didn’t back down. Not to mention he was still selling off his inventory of my product.
When he finally had no choice but to address the lawsuit, he claimed he didn’t have the money that he owed me and offered 10K instead to drop it and walk away. No fucking way was I going to do that! Really? 10K instead of the close to 100K that he was supposed to pay up to this point. Add all the other damages and breaches of contract and he’s at about 200K in the hole to me. This motherfucker was making money off my product and I was getting nothing.
Meanwhile, while this asshole keeps continuing the case and prolonging the inevitable. I’ve had other big time businesses express interest in my product and want to make a deal. Big time like coca-cola/NFL big time. They want to do exclusive licensing deals but won’t until the piece of shit thief is out of the picture. So now this guy is fucking me over in another way.
This guy is still going along like it’s no skin off his back, still making money on all his other products and I’m not going to back down.
Sorry for the long response, writing this actually got me riled up again. I hate thieves! Time for a beer. Or two!