Samhummed and its customers are going to take Graple to court because they have a factual case that Graple did broadcast the signal that bricked all the Samhummed devices.
At the hearing, Graple can tell the truth and admit it broadcast the signal with the intent of destroying all those Samhummed devices. Or Graple can choose to lengthen its list of crimes by committing perjury and saying it had some other reason for broadcasting that signal and had no idea it would destroy anything. In which case, Graple needs to come up with some plausible sounding reason why it chose to broadcast a signal like this and it needs to come up with a plausible explanation of how it was unaware of how this signal would effect devices like the ones it manufactures. I’m thinking Graple’s going to have a hard time coming up with excuses a judge and jury’s going to find reasonable. But even if they manage that, they can still be found liable for causing unintended damages.
As I’ve said, it wouldn’t have been established yet that Samhummed has committed any illegal acts.
Second, even if Graple does establish it was wronged by Samhummed, it’s still only entitled to legal remedies. It’s not entitled to commit a revenge crime against Samhummed.
When all the legalities are settled in this situation, you could end up with Samhummed being found liable for stealing Graple’s products and Graple being held liable for breaking Samhummed’s products. Both of them committed illegal acts.
Third, you raised the issue that Samhummed would not be the only parties wronged by Graple’s actions. Samhummed’s customers were not involved in the theft of the Graple property.
I don’t think so. And in this case, as others have brought up, there’s a clean hands issue.
In an actual case, my neighbor cut down trees that blocked the sun on my house. This caused my summer air conditioning bills to go up and for me to oil the back of the house more often. I seriously doubt I could sue him even if he did it on purpose.
The key question is - what are the implications and terms of service of the broadcast?
Here’s another example- let’s say the broadcast is a “time announcement” and suddenly it’s way off - but the Grapple devices don’t have a problem, because they’ve been instructed to adjust the time.
If someone relying on that time service were to sue for resulting damages (“my cows exploded because I did not milk them on time”) what’s their recourse?
If Samhummed users are piggybacking on a service that is not public, they have no expectation of its reliability.
OTOH, if a “kill” signal is deliberately sent knowing it will cause damage, only for that purpose, that’s deliberate interference and actively causing damage.
So- motivation becomes important. If you did not promise Samhummed a service, if it fails you have no liability. However, if you actively did something to cause a problem, then you are likely liable.
The intermediate “way out” is to change the service to “improve” it for your customers, thus leaving Sam’s club in the dust. "We changed our broadcast format… sorry. We provided updates. "
That wasn’t the point of the question. If Sumhummed sues Graple for breaking their toys and admits in court (or is caught during the trial) that the toys were broken because they stole Graple patent, would that immediately invalidate the lawsuit.
No, it wouldn’t. One tort doesn’t excuse another.
I don’t see where Grapple is on the hook.
" Your honor they stole our technology and stole access to our signal, but apparently they didn’t do a very good job of it. How is it our fault that they are incompetent criminals?"
And if Joe-Bob the consumer sues; Grapple moves for a summary judgement as he sued the wrong guy, Grapple did not manufacture his defective equipment.