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Legal arguments about Hypex and NORD licensing

amirm

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Sorry to join in late, but are we misunderstanding the OP?

If Hypex produced the NC1200 module with MOQ of 20 units (or x units) and set the price at 6,500GBP per unit, why is that against the law?
Oh crap! You are probably right. Reading it again it seems like it has a minimum quantity requirement, rather than resale price. I was wondering why the amount was so precise.

It makes sense that a company like Hypex would not remotely go near what we thought they had said.

Seems like now they let people order in smaller quantities, easing the pain on smaller companies that can't build and inventory a bunch.

Oh, well. :) I put 99% of the blame on John. :D Hopefully the discussion was of some value anyway, although sad to see a member quit over it.
 

garbulky

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You are full of crap. Please remove my membership and all my posts. You are a silly little puffed up twit, who is too ignorant to know how stupid he really is, and of no import, in or out of Microsoft.

Take your forum and ram it.
Whew! I just jumped in to this thread!
I have no idea what happens after this. I'm assuming Samoyed gets Amir Annoyed and gets banned. But I'm hoping not till I get to the end of this thread because... fascinating reading folks!
1. Who is Bill Newcomb?
2. Still am not sure what a hosebag is but it doesn't sound good.
3. I wonder if this is Samoyed's normal way of speaking in real life? I would love to overhear a conversation where somebody throws out words like "puffed up twit". It all sounds a bit british imo.
4. I am not a lawyer (though I did argue against my mom that it was all her fault once), but at this point I would say the that neither knows what they are talking about but I do enjoy the conviction! However it sounds like Leggings (Leegins?) are somehow CRUCIAL in this discussion! Dress warmy folks!
5. What is Samoyed's law specialty?
 

RayDunzl

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tan·trum
noun

an uncontrolled outburst of anger and frustration, typically in a young child.
 

GrimSurfer

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To his great credit, Amir seems to be bigger than having Samoyed banned. Samoyed probably decided to leave because, in most other forums, that would have been the next step after his final retort.

The dynamics at play are a little more complicated than Samoyed's final words. He did present what appeared to be reasoned views with some basis in his stated métier. What followed was akin to anyone asking Amir or John if they knew the working end of a VOM. After this happening three times, I would expect Amir or John to issue a sharp rebuke to anyone implying or stating that they didn't know their stuff.

This isn't about tantrums. It's about certain norms (like respecting the other guy's qualifications, or trying to find where these meet yours) not be respected.
 
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andreasmaaan

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Oh crap! You are probably right. Reading it again it seems like it has a minimum quantity requirement, rather than resale price. I was wondering why the amount was so precise.

It makes sense that a company like Hypex would not remotely go near what we thought they had said.

Seems like now they let people order in smaller quantities, easing the pain on smaller companies that can't build and inventory a bunch.

Oh, well. :) I put 99% of the blame on John. :D Hopefully the discussion was of some value anyway, although sad to see a member quit over it.
I'm not so sure I follow. If this were simply a question of Hypex scrapping or lowering their minimum order quantity, why would Nord now be selling NC1200-based units for so much less (£3795) than the supposed original wholesale price per unit (£6500), on a smaller order quantity than that to which the £6500 price was supposed to have applied? Why would Nord write: A recent change in pricing policy means we are free to price as we feel fit? Moreover, I would be very surprised if the wholesale price of the module had previously been so high.

Finally, although I never practised in (what we Australians call) competition and consumer law, and although Samoyed's incredible level of lawyerly (and ultimately decidedly unlawyerly) bluster was not something I was ever used to in sleepy little Australia, I did find his arguments to be quite convincing and his proclaimed status as a retired attorney with 40 years experience in this practice area believable.

In other words, I think the original analysis may well have been the correct one: that Hypex did contractually demand minimum retail prices of its NC1200 customers, and that it simply no longer does.
 

amirm

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'm not so sure I follow. If this were simply a question of Hypex scrapping or lowering their minimum order quantity, why would Nord now be selling NC1200-based units for so much less (£3795) than the supposed original wholesale price per unit (£6500), on a smaller order quantity than that to which the £6500 price was supposed to have applied?
Oh, I didn't realize they were selling them for such high prices prior. So maybe John was right after all! :)

Maybe someone should contact them and find out what they meant by that quote.
 

andreasmaaan

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Oh, I didn't realize they were selling them for such high prices prior. So maybe John was right after all! :)

Maybe someone should contact them and find out what they meant by that quote.
No sorry, I wasn't suggesting that that was the previous wholesale price, but rather that, if the Nord comments were related to wholesale prices and quantities as opposed to minimum retail pricing, the only way to coherently read the Nord quote would be to assume that 6.5k was the previous wholesale price - which seems implausible to me. Hence I think your original inference that Hypex was contractually fixing a minimum retail price was correct (or at least, that that is what Nord is saying).

Yes, I think the only way to truly get to the bottom of this one now would be via input from Nord :)
 

amirm

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Finally, although I never practised in (what we Australians call) competition and consumer law, and although Samoyed's incredible level of lawyerly (and ultimately decidedly unlawyerly) bluster was not something I was ever used to in sleepy little Australia, I did find his arguments to be quite convincing and his proclaimed status as a retired attorney with 40 years experience in this practice area believable.
None of us questioned his expertise that way. The issues here are a practical matter of how you run a licensing or component sales to larger market. And what advice a corporate attorney will give you, as opposed to one hired to defend you once you are in hot water with one or more governments. Such advice would need to encompass understanding of world-wide legal and political issues (especially in the case of EU and some Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, etc.).

I would sometime challenge our senior attorneys at Microsoft on their advice to us. Their answer was simple: there had to be a bright line between what is or is not good to do in business. One may be able to push the limits but as a general rule, you had to take a very safe position due to high risks involved.

While we did not discuss this, PR is a huge issue here. I am sure if what Hypex had done would have continued now, it would have left a sour taste in many consumer's mouths. Many times we avoided licensing practices that may have been "legal" but would create too much negative PR.
 

andreasmaaan

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Another possible step would be to ask: Is anyone aware of any Nord competitors who have previously offered NC1200-based amps, and how were they priced?
 

DKT88

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Whew! I just jumped in to this thread!
I have no idea what happens after this. I'm assuming Samoyed gets Amir Annoyed and gets banned. But I'm hoping not till I get to the end of this thread because... fascinating reading folks!
1. Who is Bill Newcomb?
2. Still am not sure what a hosebag is but it doesn't sound good.
3. I wonder if this is Samoyed's normal way of speaking in real life? I would love to overhear a conversation where somebody throws out words like "puffed up twit". It all sounds a bit british imo.
4. I am not a lawyer (though I did argue against my mom that it was all her fault once), but at this point I would say the that neither knows what they are talking about but I do enjoy the conviction! However it sounds like Leggings (Leegins?) are somehow CRUCIAL in this discussion! Dress warmy folks!
5. What is Samoyed's law specialty?
He said he is retired a maritime lawyer on another forum.
 

amirm

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Another possible step would be to ask: Is anyone aware of any Nord competitors who have previously offered NC1200-based amps, and how were they priced?
I just searched and the two brand name amps I found were from MBL and Theta, both above $10,000.
 

andreasmaaan

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The issues here are a practical matter of how you run a licensing or component sales to larger market. And what advice a corporate attorney will give you, as opposed to one hired to defend you once you are in hot water with one or more governments. Such advice would need to encompass understanding of world-wide legal and political issues (especially in the case of EU and some Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, etc.).
I agree, although if the law is as clear as Samoyed seems to believe it is, the advice may not be so different (I'm of course in no position to judge that). And although there may be significant jurisdiction-to-jurisdiction variation, these legal regimes tend to have a way of locking in with each other in my (admittedly limited) experience.

I would sometime challenge our senior attorneys at Microsoft on their advice to us. Their answer was simple: there had to be a bright line between what is or is not good to do in business. One may be able to push the limits but as a general rule, you had to take a very safe position due to high risks involved.

While we did not discuss this, PR is a huge issue here. I am sure if what Hypex had done would have continued now, it would have left a sour taste in many consumer's mouths. Many times we avoided licensing practices that may have been "legal" but would create too much negative PR.
All true. And I'm in no position with my experience and expertise to have a further view on it. Could it be, thought, that Microsoft may have been a more conservative operator than little upstart Hypex?
 

amirm

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All true. And I'm in no position with my experience and expertise to have a further view on it. Could it be, thought, that Microsoft may have been a more conservative operator than little upstart Hypex?
That would be the case. Indeed start-ups and small companies routinely cross the line out of lack of experience, or being too small of a fish to be caught. It doesn't take much though to get in trouble. The cost of hiring an attorney to write a letter to the appropriate agency in your local government would not be much and could trigger an investigation. And that is enough to rack up huge costs for the defending company.

Personally, I still follow what I learned to do at Microsoft. It is just good business and personal strategy to not be discriminatory. It is such a difficult platform to defend otherwise.
 

March Audio

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Another possible step would be to ask: Is anyone aware of any Nord competitors who have previously offered NC1200-based amps, and how were they priced?
The nc1200 modules simply were not previously visible/available on the normal OEM channel. I never actually enquired about them.

Note that the Mola Mola Kaluga is priced in the region of $16k a pair. My P701 nc1200 monoblocks are a tad cheaper ;)
 

PierreV

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Yes, one can find a few with the help of google. Some announced and canceled too. Weren't Mola Mola power amps based on "optimized" NC1200? My reading of this whole thing would be that BP did not want too cheap competition with its own "high-end" designs and that it was a pure market segmentation decision. Then, since class D amplification at that price level and in that segment hasn't been a success but other segments have exploded, it became a moot point and the pricing restriction was lifted. On top of that, there will be a new high-end soon (at least in terms of measurements, audibility being another issue)...

Ethical, non ethical? No opinion. But on the NC400 front, shouldn't we all be happy it is available to all at a very fair price? That's certainly not unethical.
 

GrimSurfer

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None of us questioned his expertise that way. The issues here are a practical matter of how you run a licensing or component sales to larger market. And what advice a corporate attorney will give you, as opposed to one hired to defend you once you are in hot water with one or more governments. Such advice would need to encompass understanding of world-wide legal and political issues (especially in the case of EU and some Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, etc.).

I would sometime challenge our senior attorneys at Microsoft on their advice to us. Their answer was simple: there had to be a bright line between what is or is not good to do in business. One may be able to push the limits but as a general rule, you had to take a very safe position due to high risks involved.

While we did not discuss this, PR is a huge issue here. I am sure if what Hypex had done would have continued now, it would have left a sour taste in many consumer's mouths. Many times we avoided licensing practices that may have been "legal" but would create too much negative PR.
I too have some experience in dealing with what some would call "in-house counsel". They tend to be a conservative bunch, cautioning against action that could result in litigation. That's what they're often paid to do... and they draw the greatest personal benefit from providing advice that gets the firm outnof court.

When litigation does occur, in-house council usually takes a back seat to whatever expert litigator is hired to win the case. We're talking courtroom lawyers, not boardroom ones. Litigators are paid to win, in or out of court. So their advice and approach to the law can be quite different.

I found that boardroom lawyers will modify their advice when discussing issues of strategy... how should we best do this/that, as opposed to asking whether it should be done at all.

At the end of the day, however, lawyers provide advice. It's good "advice" if you avoid litigation. Otherwise, it's good "defence" if you don't. But the law is the law, so it's better to knowingly accept/reject advice than attempting to be your own lawyer.

There's a lesson in this somewhere...
 

amirm

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There's a lesson in this somewhere...
The key lesson is that direct experience matters. One learns for example than an EU company can create grief for a US company much easier than for another EU company. You could get in hot waters with Korean, Taiwanese, Japanese companies for geopolitical reasons. All of these come to surface easily in competition law where there is preference to protect the home market.
 

GrimSurfer

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Geopolitics may come into play if one of the companies is Microsoft, General Dynamics or Ford but it doesn't factor into things when you're dealing with litigation between a couple of pissant audio companies -- unless one of those companies is affiliated with a chaebol or in a marginal electoral district. Even then, the way ahead is complicated by all sorts of international agreements on trade, access to markets, etc.

I know this having sat in Secretary/Ministers offices in a few countries working out disagreements involving major entities in which trade and politics were intertwined. And, coincidentally enough, one of those offices was in Australia.

Had the companies involved and dollar values of trade been different, stuff like this doesn't make it past the constituents office.

But I would certainly agree that big companies like Microsoft and big defence contractors operate in a different orbit... one in which things can get political from the get-go.
 

andreasmaaan

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too have some experience in dealing with what some would call "in-house counsel". They tend to be a conservative bunch, cautioning against action that could result in litigation. That's what they're often paid to do... and they draw the greatest personal benefit from providing advice that gets the firm outnof court.

When litigation does occur, in-house council usually takes a back seat to whatever expert litigator is hired to win the case. We're talking courtroom lawyers, not boardroom ones. Litigators are paid to win, in or out of court. So their advice and approach to the law can be quite different.
I have to agree. I also think a large, established company might hear in the same piece of legal advice, "There's a legal risk attached to [X strategy]," where a fledgling startup might simply hear, "You're 99.9% good to go."
 
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