"They Killed Hanoch!" (1/24/00)

Silly us! Yesterday we bade adieu to Dr. Hanoch Shalit, an occasional AtAT cast member for the better part of two years by virtue of his dramatically overinflated $1.1 billion patent infringement lawsuit against Apple. If you've been tuning in, you're aware that the judge just tossed the case out on its proverbial ear, claiming that Hanoch didn't even own the patents that Apple was alleged to have infringed, and even if he did, Apple never infringed on them anyway. Like dorks, we assumed that such a one-sided decision from the judge would put this case to rest once and for all-- but we failed to reckon with two factors: Hanoch's shameless and desperate need for attention, and a legal system that, for better or for worse, gives litigants more lives than Kenny from South Park.

That's right; Hanoch has long been King of the Press Release, and the one he issued in response to his case's dismissal is a doozy. Faithful viewer Guy McLimore was the first to point out Hanoch's latest masterpiece, in which he makes the brilliant move of calling the judge "misguided" and announces his plan to appeal. Says Hanoch, "with due respect to the court, the dismissal of our Complaint leads me to question how well the presiding judge understood the highly technical issues involved." Way to insult the judge, buddy. See, Hanoch's beef is that the judge "did not allow a trial by jury to proceed." Because as we all know, a jury is much more likely to understand those "highly technical issues" than a judge is. Or could it be that a jury would be easier to dupe, thereby representing better odds in Hanoch's grab for cash? In any case, it sounds like we'll have him on the show for a while longer.

We suppose we should take this opportunity to issue a public apology to Dr. Shalit; in the past we've surmised that Imatec is a one-man shakedown operation-- Hanoch and his patents. (Sounds like a Woody Allen movie, doesn't it?) But AAPL Investors corrects our false assumption: Imatec is, in fact, a two-man shakedown operation-- CEO Hanoch, and his CFO named James Smith. Which doesn't sound at all like an alias, so stop casting aspersions. Incidentally, AAPL Investors has lots of interesting little tidbits about Imatec; for instance, did you know that the company's total revenue over its twelve-year history amounts to $134,000? Or that for the past two years it's had zero income and a net loss of $6.3 million? Or that four months ago, Hanoch himself sold off 835,000 shares of his own company, representing "over 95%" of his holding and "22.4% of total outstanding shares"? When Hanoch finally fades into oblivion, we at AtAT will be sorry to see him leave the show; after all, what's a soap opera without financial strife and desperate measures?

SceneLink (2050)
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The above scene was taken from the 1/24/00 episode:

January 24, 2000: Our farewell to Hanoch Shalit may have been a tad premature; it's time to appeal! Meanwhile, a doughy face from the past tries to take credit for Steve Jobs's remarkable turnaround, and CompUSA dons a sombrero as new management from south of the border aims to bring the superstore chain back from the brink of irrelevancy...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 2051: Coulda Been A Contender (1/24/00)   Speaking of cast members that leave the show (this segue brought to you by Just Segues: textual transitions for all your dramatic needs!), do you ever reminisce about good ol' Gil Amelio? You remember Gil-- he played Apple's CEO until Steve Jobs took over the role following a bloody boardroom coup...

  • 2052: Under New Management (1/24/00)   Longtime viewers will know that we at AtAT aren't huge fans of CompUSA. Actually, that's not entirely accurate: we don't really have so much of a problem with CompUSA itself. Our beef is with the CompUSA buying experience, which in many cases is tantamount to exfoliating with a cheese grater while rolling in salt...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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