back to article Cisco sues lawyers on its own side – for bigger slice of capacitor price-fixing settlement pie

Cisco is fighting its own side's lawyers to get a bigger share of a component price-fixing payout, in the latest unedifying class-action legal battle in tech land. The networking equipment giant wants $192m of apparently over-priced capacitor purchases it made to be considered when calculating how much of a giant pot of …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    That's going to involve some interesting decisions for lawyers being offered the brief. Probably best to ask for payment in advance.

  2. Dante Alighieri

    <Nelson>

    Ha Ha

    </Nelson>

  3. Kev99

    Never have understood why people who get into lawsuits don't require the opposing party to pay all attorney fess and costs instead of agreeing to giving up a slice of the pie.

    1. Jon 37 Silver badge

      If you win in court, you will often be able to get the opposition to pay your attorney fees and costs. However, you have to submit their bill to the court, who will check it's reasonable. The other side can challenge it and maybe get a reduction.

      In the case of an out-of-court settlement, neither side wants the hassle or risk of arguing about the bill in court. So they just agree an amount as part of the settlement - e.g. "I'll pay $10m to you and $1m to your lawyers". When the case gets reported in the news, those numbers are usually lumped together, e.g. "XYZ Corp pays $11m to settle lawsuit". And similarly, XYZ Corp's accounts will just record it as an $11m settlement.

  4. Tromos
    Joke

    Presumably Cisco want the money to reimburse any of their customers who purchased equipment containing these capacitors.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      We'll all believe that one when we see it. But thanks for the laugh.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921 Bronze badge

    Since when have capacitors become so crap?!?!? My big, beautiful LG TV died the other day... opened it up and there they were - crappy puffy capacitors! Now I either have to solder in replacements myself of buy a new board from somewhere, which may or may not be compatible because they f*cking don't make that easy to determine, or buy a new TV and consign the old one to landfill - poisoning plants and potentially water supplies. The f*ck will someone standardise quality caps in China (or Taiwan, Japan or India). There must become a huge movement towards electronic products which feature longevity as a primary design concern, with easily sourced and easy to replace components or modules else humanity will suffocate or starve well before we colonise the universe.

    RIGHT TO REPAIR - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-46797396

    There's no reason why appliances can't last like this:

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/couple-put-1950s-classic-home-11549967

    1. eldakka Silver badge
      Unhappy

      There must become a huge movement towards electronic products which feature longevity as a primary design concern, with easily sourced and easy to replace components or modules else humanity will suffocate or starve well before we colonise the universe.

      The problem is that the Western World depends entirely on consumerism to survive economically.

      People buying stuff means other people have to make stuff, therefore providing jobs making that stuff.

      Then there are jobs support those manufacturing industries, construction of the factories, transport, financial services providing the financing and moving the money around to enable these industries and derived from these industries. And those industries require their own support, stationary, cleaning services, so on and so forth, a vicious circle.

      And jobs means income tax revenue for the government.

      Industries/businesses mean corporate taxes for the government.

      Consumerism means consumption taxes for the government, plus the industries - as outlined above - supporting them and paying the corporate taxes and employees paying income taxes.

      If we all started making durable goods, that whole cycle would collapse and send the entire Western World bankrupt within a decade, at most.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Industries/businesses mean corporate taxes for the government.

        When we read about Apple, etc. and their tax avoidance, I don't buy this line anymore. Come to think of it, even the wealthy are making out on tax breaks The middle and lower class are screwed tax wise of late.

      2. Mystic Megabyte

        Heat @eldakka

        I'm sitting in front of a Philps fan heater that belonged to my long dead parents. It has a label on the base which says "MAINTENANCE: Every six months unplug the heater, remove the base, remove any fluff and oil the bearings". I did that last week, this heater must be at least 40* years old. Similar modern appliances have tamper proof screws and will die after two years.

        *the neon lamp died but I replaced it with one from a dead kettle

      3. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921 Bronze badge

        If we all started making durable goods, that whole cycle would collapse and send the entire Western World bankrupt within a decade

        There are a huge number of consumers who would love their recycled plastic bins to actually recycled rather than dumped in the ground or sea... and care enough to pay to make that happen. Modular, repairable electronic devices will undoubtedly come at a modest price bump, which I believe many people will pay. Higher prices mean more revenue, particularly when you factor in a new service industry created to recycle toxic trash completely. Ultimately, such short chain thought will cost humanity the stars. Zero Sum Game.

    2. paulll

      "Since when have capacitors become so crap?!?!?"

      Mostly since 1999 ...

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague

      Lots of crap stock still in the channel.

      I wouldn't be surprised if the conspirators' objective was actually, the f*ck, to standardise quality caps post-plague, rather than common-or-garden price fixing. Better to admit to price fixing, than trying to shaft China in the electronics market.

    3. old_IT_guy

      My brother has our grandparent's 1960's GEC fridge in his living room (chilling beers ofc!). It has worked perfectly for over 50 years, never broken down, never needed re-gassing and is far quieter than any fridge either of us have ever owned. It's also not at all unattractive, this image is of the same model - https://goo.gl/images/XiiT8A

      It's all been said elsewhere countless times as well as why, but I do wish this design philosophy hadn't fallen by the wayside decades ago.

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "There's no reason why appliances can't last like this:

      https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/couple-put-1950s-classic-home-11549967"

      I doubt they were using a 1950s TV.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. Milo Tsukroff

      "Since when have capacitors become so crap?!?!?"

      Back in the 1980's, there was a run of japanese-made capacitors that leaked after a few years. TV's sold in the USA between about 1986 through 1995 all died after a few years. From the year 2000 on, I found old TV's at tag sales and thrift stores, with manufacturing dates either post-1995 or pre-1986. Amazingly, the old sets still work! So there's precedence for crap capacitor production. (Unfortunately, this capacitor problem hit every production unit of my favorite musical instrument, the Casio DH-100 / DH-200, released around 1988. To use them, the caps have to be replaced. It's a common fix when they are listed on eBay.)

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. the Jim bloke
    Pirate

    This is the real reason we need Trumps wall

    So come the revolution, we have sufficient capacity to line up all the lawyers, and bankers, and lobbyists, and spammers, and telemarketers, and reality TV participants, and advertisers, and....

  8. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Lawyers suiing lawyers....

    Sounds like a feeding frenzy in the shark tank. Maybe this time only one will survive and then die from overeating.

    1. M.V. Lipvig

      Re: Lawyers suiing lawyers....

      Lawyers are like the Sith; there must be at least two. Otherwise, how would you sue?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks for the reminder..

    .. I have to take the electronics of the garage door apart. I suspect an elco has degraded or even popped, given the tardy behaviour of the manual control (I think there's just an elco + resistor as key debounce).

    Sorry for the digression, but thanks :)

  10. TRT Silver badge

    The Japanese weren't constricting the supply of capacitors...

    They were just... smoothing out the ripples.

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