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HP Accused of Spying on Dell 82

Posted by Zonk
from the only-surprising-in-that-we're-hearing-about-it dept.
An anonymous reader writes "An ex-HP exec claims he was instructed by the company's management to spy on Dell's printer business plans. Karl Kamb, previously HP's vice president of business development and strategy, was named as a defendant in a federal lawsuit filed by HP in 2005, after he allegedly began his own company before leaving HP. Kamb, who has denied any wrongdoing, filed a countersuit in US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas claiming he was fired because of shading dealings involved in the corporate espionage. From the article: 'As a member of HP's imaging and printing group's "competitive intelligence team", Kamb said he was in a position to know that HP senior executives signed off on a plan to pay [Former Dell Japan President Katsumi] Iizuka to obtain details of what Dell was up to. Iizuka turned over the information to Kamb and he passed it along to HP, Kamb claimed.'"
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HP Accused of Spying on Dell

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  • by frinkster (149158) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @12:37PM (#17753424)
    Just as an FYI, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas has become very popular of late for the "little guy" suing a big corporation. The juries down there seem to hate large companies ;)

    A lawsuit in the Eastern District of Texas is almost always associated with patent trolling, since the Eastern District of Texas certainly doesn't have much in the way of large cities, large corporations, or large R&D departments. Why it exists is a pretty decent question.
  • Actually (Score:2, Informative)

    by Kankraka (936176) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @02:41PM (#17755806)
    I can see a reason HP would be quite interested in what Dell is doing with their 'brand' of printers. Every Dell printer I've ever seen is a Lexmark that's been re-branded with the Dell logo and a different ink cartridge and print head. Now obviously that printer is going to be using the same ink as the Lexmark counterpart, just with the cartridge modified a little bit to fit in the modified print head to stop you from just buying Lexmark ink. As far as I know, you can buy Lexmark ink and just switch the plastic tops on the Lexmark branded ink with the Dell top. I'm not sure if this works with ALL their ink, but a good majority of the older cartridges for sure. Now the interesting part. Lexmark doesn't manufacture their own ink, which explains why it's so expensive, but where do they get the ink from? HP. So HP makes the ink for Lexmark, Lexmark sells rebranded ink to Dell, and the sucker buying a Dell printer pays out the ass for his ink. HP is on the first rung on this ladder, the profit filtering down from Dell is probably pretty decent and HP probably doesn't really want to lose the share in that; so if Dell is changing things around in their printer market, HP is gonna want to be the first to know about it. HP will lose a chunk of profit if Dell goes with another manufacturer, or decides to start making their own line of printers from 'scratch', so one would think HP would need to know before hand what's going on, to prevent profit loss.
  • by MyOtherUIDis3digits (926429) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @03:03PM (#17756146)
    The other is that yes, the very existence of government leads to an immoral government over time, simply because it is a bureaucracy, and that's what bureaucracies do. They consolidate and preserve power.

    And this is exactly why the forefathers included the 2nd Amendment. The explicit purpose of keeping "a well regulated militia" and preserving "the right of the people to keep and bear arms" was to keep the government in check with the threat of being overthrown by the people should the need arise. Thomas Jefferson estimated that this should probably happen about once every 20 years.

"No problem is so formidable that you can't walk away from it." -- C. Schulz