Author Topic: Keysight Scary Letter  (Read 41402 times)

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Offline jjoonathan

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Keysight Scary Letter
« on: January 25, 2019, 02:46:31 pm »
I just received what appears to be a letter originating from Keysight (via an auction house) demanding that I take a HP 8562A spectrum analyzer off the market on account of intellectual property it contains.

What the hell? Is this for real?

EDIT: added specific model
EDIT: added letter
EDIT: made title less interprative
EDIT: I have been in touch with Keysight. As the cooler heads in this thread guessed, this has nothing to do with Keysight using bogus IP claims to go after the used SA market. It's a one-off SNAFU. Keep calm and ebay on!
« Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 11:33:56 pm by jjoonathan »
 

Offline wraper

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2019, 02:48:28 pm »
Quote
What the hell? Is this for real?
Without actually posting what and from whom you have received it, your question is useless.
 

Offline jjoonathan

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2019, 02:52:57 pm »
I may just get to the point of posting the actual letter, but it contains PII that I have to remove.

I am really asking if other people have received similar letters, if this is a tactic the community has seen them deploy before (against buyers of old equipment -- afaik that's the extent of the relationship here), or, since their representatives visit this forum, if they would like to comment on the situation.
 

Offline Bud

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2019, 02:56:52 pm »
Was it a generic type of equipment?
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Offline jjoonathan

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2019, 03:00:11 pm »
It was an HP8562A spectrum analyzer.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 03:01:43 pm by jjoonathan »
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2019, 03:02:13 pm »
Did you use logos or texts in the ad which may be construed as coming officially from Keysight?
 

Offline jjoonathan

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2019, 03:03:05 pm »
I was the customer. I never sold or attempted to sell the SA.

EDIT: and if the auction house I purchased it from used copy or logos that (to a lawyer) might be construed as coming directly from Keysight, I most certainly did not construe them that way. Since I sometimes sell old HP equipment (but not, as of yet, the equipment under discussion), I would be interested in learning exactly what they want us to avoid. For instance, is putting "HP" in the listing forbidden? Is putting "HP/Agilent/Keysight" in the listing forbidden?
« Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 03:13:21 pm by jjoonathan »
 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2019, 03:12:57 pm »
That is indeed odd. I can only speculate, but I wonder if this SpecAn is ITAR controlled and your name is somehow linked to an embargoed country or somehow matches a list of bad actors - these lists exist but are full of flaws. Or this letter is sent to anyone that purchases these equipments from a more established company (i.e., not eBay, for example).
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Offline jjoonathan

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2019, 03:18:13 pm »
I'm a US citizen several generations deep. The nearest foreign cousins are in the Netherlands and, as far as I know, there are no terrorists sharing my last name. I have shipped equipment to Australia and Canada before, but nothing apart from that.

As you say, the lists are imperfect, but I don't think this is that.
 
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Offline Marco

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2019, 03:23:38 pm »
Just reply that unless they can provide some rationale why first sale doctrine doesn't apply they should kindly fuck off.
 

Offline taydin

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2019, 03:30:33 pm »
I think the answer to your question is in your question. You said the letter came from an auction house. Most likely the auction house wants this unit to be bought by their customer and wants YOU to retract your offer.
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Offline jjoonathan

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2019, 03:33:01 pm »
The letter is signed by a lawyer from Keysight and CC'd to a keysight address. I don't think it's a spoof.

Also, the SA in question has been sitting on my desk for a year. It's not an active listing.

EDIT: the CC isn't to a keysight address, it's to a law firm.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 03:49:13 pm by jjoonathan »
 

Offline Marco

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2019, 03:45:17 pm »
Maybe they sold off some SA's with government only upgrades, noticed it way late and panicked?
 

Offline Keysight DanielBogdanoff

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2019, 03:59:29 pm »
I'm not familiar with this situation, but have worked with Marc before and can confirm he's Keysight. I'd highly encourage you to give him a quick call and figure it out.
 
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Offline jjoonathan

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2019, 04:04:42 pm »
Will do, thanks.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2019, 04:09:10 pm »
I was the customer. I never sold or attempted to sell the SA.

EDIT: and if the auction house I purchased it from used copy or logos that (to a lawyer) might be construed as coming directly from Keysight, I most certainly did not construe them that way. Since I sometimes sell old HP equipment (but not, as of yet, the equipment under discussion), I would be interested in learning exactly what they want us to avoid. For instance, is putting "HP" in the listing forbidden? Is putting "HP/Agilent/Keysight" in the listing forbidden?
I think that the term 'taken off the market' means that the equipment must be returned to Keysight. I suspect this piece of equipment was used for something related to the military and/or national security and has to be destroyed for legal reasons. Keysight basically offers to buy it back. I'd give the guy from Keysight a call and see if you can trade it in for something similar.
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Offline vtwin@cox.net

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2019, 04:10:11 pm »
I take it you purchased the item from Outback Trading Company.

It sounds like the piece of equipment contained some proprietary software and shouldn't have been consigned to Outback for resale. So they're tracing the equipment forward -- e.g. they probably contacted the person who gave it to outback, who told them "i gave it to outback", outback told them they sold it to you, and now you're getting the letter.

I'm not familiar enough with IP law to say whether or not they have a leg to stand on, but my guess is the original purchaser probably had a contractual agreement that the device would be returned or destroyed and not resold.... in which case, an argument could be made that the OP didn't have clear title to the equipment to 'resell' or consign it to Outback for sale. This may have been a complete oversight on part of the OP -- e.g. if an employee acquired the equipment with the restriction, left the company, and the company then unknowing of the restriction liquidated the item.

I would offer to give it back to them in exchange for a brand-new spectrum analyzer meeting the specifications of the one you have. It's a win-win for them -- they get their IP back and you get a brand new SA. Far cheaper for them too, in terms of litigation.
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Online Qw3rtzuiop

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2019, 04:16:15 pm »
We have some rf stuff at work were we signed an end-user certificate. This could be the case here.
 
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Offline JDubU

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2019, 04:25:02 pm »
...
I would offer to give it back to them in exchange for a brand-new spectrum analyzer meeting the specifications of the one you have. It's a win-win for them -- they get their IP back and you get a brand new SA. Far cheaper for them too, in terms of litigation.

Take a look at the box ("A replacement for this product is available:...") at the upper right corner of this web page:

https://www.keysight.com/en/pd-8562A%3Aepsg%3Apro-pn-8562A/9-khz-22-ghz-spectrum-analyzer?cc=US&lc=eng
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2019, 04:27:42 pm »
If I understand correctly Keysight is trying to hold of a unit OP purchased fair and square from a third party? I don't think they have any legal leverage here. Even if there is some super secret technology in that device, it'd be a matter for the relevant agencies and not Keysight.

Did they share what the problem is? I would be hesitant to make any move before they clarify their motivation. Apparently you have some very special equipment there. ;D
 

Offline jjoonathan

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2019, 04:33:14 pm »
Ok guys, you're right, I should chill until I know what's going on.
 

Offline tsman

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2019, 04:45:55 pm »
If I understand correctly Keysight is trying to hold of a unit OP purchased fair and square from a third party? I don't think they have any legal leverage here.
It would depend on if the original seller had the right to sell it. It could be something like this SA was on loan from Keysight and was liquidated at auction by mistake. It is still Keysight's property even though OP bought it.
 

Offline Marco

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2019, 04:55:02 pm »
We have some rf stuff at work were we signed an end-user certificate. This could be the case here.
Just curious, does that certificate say you have loaned the object or that you obligate yourself to not sell it on?

If it's a loan and you resell it any way the producer might be able to reclaim it depending on the laws in your country (in my country if you buy goods from a non auctioneer second hand goods shop it's yours for instance, where it came from is not your problem). If it's your property and you resell it then the breach of contract is entirely your problem, not the person who bough it.
 

Online 0culus

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2019, 04:59:28 pm »
...
I would offer to give it back to them in exchange for a brand-new spectrum analyzer meeting the specifications of the one you have. It's a win-win for them -- they get their IP back and you get a brand new SA. Far cheaper for them too, in terms of litigation.

Take a look at the box ("A replacement for this product is available:...") at the upper right corner of this web page:

https://www.keysight.com/en/pd-8562A%3Aepsg%3Apro-pn-8562A/9-khz-22-ghz-spectrum-analyzer?cc=US&lc=eng

I would take this approach as well. If the unit you have is indeed in need of being traced and potentially destroyed, that's inconveniencing you and your lab (doesn't matter if you're a hobbyist or a professional IMO). They should provide you with the modern replacement free of charge.
 
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Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2019, 05:00:52 pm »
I would take this approach as well. If the unit you have is indeed in need of being traced and potentially destroyed, that's inconveniencing you and your lab (doesn't matter if you're a hobbyist or a professional IMO). They should provide you with the modern replacement free of charge.
Don't forget the super secret special abilities of the device OP now has to live without. ;D
 


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