Dead Solid Pluperfect

A Hot Buttered Guff™ Production

Arbortext Royalty Fraud: Chapter Two

The Bonehead Factor

After three months of working on the source code in collaboration with Mark Lambert, the Arbortext engineer in charge of the project, the contract had still not been finalized and signed. Nor had Blueberry been paid for the work done so far. And Dwan still acted like I was somehow merely a pawn in his game.

It was time to turn the tables. Reverse the course. While my style may certainly be lacking in suaveness, it was nonetheless quite effective.

On a Friday morning in early June, I phoned Asshead and told him to get the contract signed or I would blow him and his scheme out of the water. He hung up on me. Not the correct answer. When I called back, a voice recording informed me that this telephone call would be tape recorded. Even more of not the correct answer.

So, on to step two. An email to Arbortext informing them that I was ceasing work pending a signed contract and a payment for work done thus far.

My, what a flurry ensued. Cave man diplomacy wreaks havoc in bullshitville. After six arduous months of discussing contract terms and fine points, quite suddenly, in one week, payment was made and the date set for the contract signing. With Blueberry. The partnership. Not Dwanberry, the sole reptile.

End of Bonehead’s ill-conceived and treacherous cabal.

Or so I thought.

While Bonehead and I were boneheading along, meanstwhile, Jim Sterken was no doubt using the spectacle of our disarray to formulate his plans to steal us blind and put us out of business. A nice reward for our strategic help. Who would know? Two dysfunctional morons. Put them out of their misery. He was only too happy to oblige.

The formula was right there in the contract wording, but Bonehead was too busy launching knives at my back to notice the unshaven hands pilfering his pants pockets. He also didn’t think it mattered too much because he had struck a private agreement with Arbortext whereby they would purchase Blueberry outright for $400,000, then I would go to work for Arbortext and he would continue to run Blueberry via a licensing agreement with Arbortext and they would furnish him all of my source code work along the way. Two companies making hay off one idiot.

There was only one problem. The idiot.

On July 12, 2000, Bonehead, myself, Sterken, and a fellow named Bob Brueck gathered in a huge conference room in a building in Palo Alto to sign the contract. Which we did. Bonehead signed for us. Sterken pounced eagerly upon his signature and added his own. Four guys at the end of a long conference table in an otherwise empty room. It would have been more dramatic if we’d perched ourselves one at each end and the other two in the middle, with a lawyer ferrying pens and paper among us, but drama was confined to the insides of the four heads in the room and not the décor.

Brueck was a representative of a venture capital company investing ten million dollars in Arbortext and here at the meeting to utilize his skills as a negotiator. He had already reached agreement with Bonehead, and was now homing in on me. As he began his efforts, Bonehead suddenly picked up his briefcase and left the meeting. It did not look prearranged, since he accompanied his abrupt exit by stammering incoherently, as he stumbled out the door, about our need to be alone. How thoughtful.

Abandoned to the wolves.

No fear. I was wearing a clean shirt and real slacks and had combed my hair. Impregnable dude.

Would I like to move to Michigan and work for Arbortext in a nice little cubicle?

No.

Would I accept half of $400,000 to relinquish all rights to my source code?

No.

Would I like Bob to act as a mediator between myself and Bonehead?

No.

Would I like to bend over and suffer desecration?

Okay, I made up that last one.

The meeting adjourned with promises to continue discussions in the future. My last view of Sterken and Brueck was of them standing on the side walk in front of the building as I walked to the parking lot to retrieve my truck. They were smiling and waving, but I could not help feeling they were murmuring to each other the dreadful words: Can you believe these two suckers?

The fateful dance had begun.

Note:

See Exhibit A for the Blueberry/Arbortext contract. Note for future reference the following sections of the contract which would not be honored by Arbortext, either by ignoring the section, abusing it, or violating it:
Section 2.4. Source License.
Section 3. Sublicense Agreements.
Section 4.2. Arbortext Pricing.
Section 4.3. Joint Marketing.
Section 6.1. Royalties and Other Fees.
Section 15.1. Assignment.
Section 15.12. Entire Agreement.
Exhibit B.
Exhibit C.

To be continued . . . Free Hit Counter website statistics

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June 11, 2008 - Posted by | Business, Life, News, Software, Technology | , , , ,

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