AZ company in court against Meade. short course in optical design too. ..............sam UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK ---------------------------------------------------------- DANIEL AZARI, PAUL T. JONES D/B/A STAR INSTRUMENTS and RC OPTICAL SYSTEMS INC., Plaintiffs, -against ) AMENDED ) COMPLAINT ) ) Plaintiffs B&H PHOTO-VIDEO.COM CORP., ADORAMA, INC. ) Demand MEADE INSTRUMENTS CORP., ) Trial By Jury 20/20 TELESCOPES & BINOCULARS, LLC, ) ANACORTES TELESCOPE AND WILD BIRD, ) INCORPORATED, ASTRONOMICS / ) CHRISTOPHERS, LTD, DURANGO SKIES, LLC, ) OPT CORP., SKIES UNLIMITED, LLC, ) THRALOW INC., HANDS ON OPTICS, INC., ) WOLFE'S CAMERA SHOPS, INC., ) MICHAEL HARLESS, OPTICSPLANET, INC., ) SCOPE CITY, INC., JOHN DOE NOS. 1-50 and ) and JANE DOE NOS. 1-50, ) ) Defendants. ) ------------------------------------------- Plaintiffs DANIEL AZARI, PAUL T. JONES d/b/a STAR INSTRUMENTS and RC OPTICAL SYSTEMS INC. (collectively, "Plaintiffs") for their Amended Complaint allege: THE PARTIES AND JURISDICTION 1. Plaintiff DANIEL AZARI ("Azari"), an individual, is a citizen of the State of Florida. 2. Plaintiff PAUL T. JONES ("Jones"), an individual, is a citizen of the State of Georgia. Jones is the proprietor of Star Instruments ("Star Instruments"). 3. Plaintiff RC OPTICAL SYSTEMS INC. ("RC Optical") is incorporated in the State of Arizona, where it maintains its principal place of business. [list of defendants identities and place of business] 19. JOHN DOE nos. 1-50 and JANE DOE nos. 1-50 are fictitious names for employees of Meade whose identities presently are unknown to Plaintiffs, but who are further identified below and are expected to be identified by name after discovery. On information and belief, JOHN DOE nos. 1-50 and JANE DOE nos. 1-50 are citizens of California. 20. As is set forth in detail below, the amount in controversy exceeds the sum of $75,000.00, exclusive of costs and interests. 21. As is set forth in detail below, Plaintiffs seek relief pursuant to the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. §1125. 22. As is set forth in detail below, Plaintiffs seek relief pursuant to the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO"), 18 U.S.C. § 1964. 23. Jurisdiction is proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1332. FACTS COMMON TO ALL CAUSES OF ACTION 24. Star Instruments is a manufacturer of professional quality optics. 25. RC Optical Systems designs and manufactures quality telescopes and imaging instruments for government, military, institutional, and professional and amateur astronomers. 26. Star Instruments and RC Optical Systems concentrate their businesses on a particular form of two-mirrored Cassegrain telescope known as "Ritchey-Chretien," named after the two scientists who invented the design early in the 20th century. Star Instruments is the leading manufacturer of Ritchey-Chretien optical systems. RC Optical is the leading manufacturer of telescopes incorporating Ritchey-Chretien optics. Star Instruments manufactures Ritchey-Chretien optical systems incorporated in Ritchey-Chretien telescopes manufactured by RC Optical Systems. THE RITCHEY-CHRETIEN FORM OF THE CASSEGRAIN TELESCOPE 27. There are three basic types of telescopes: refractors, reflectors and catadioptric sensors. 28. A refractor telescope is a type of optical telescope that refracts or bends light at each end using lenses. Refracting telescopes have three main parts to them: the tube (which is usually made out of metal, plastic or wood) and two convex glass lenses. When light travels through the objective lens, the light refracts, converges and creates a real image in the middle of the tube, close to the eyepiece lens. The eyepiece lens at the bottom then magnifies the real image of the object making the image seem larger. This can enable a user to view the image of a distant object like a star as if it were brighter, clearer and larger. 29. A reflecting telescope is an optical telescope which uses a combination of curved and flat mirrors to reflect light and form an image, rather than lenses to refract or bend light to form an image. A curved primary mirror is the reflector telescope's basic optical element and creates an image at the focal plane. Film or a digital sensor may record the image, or an eyepiece may be used for visual observation. 30. Catadioptrics are a combination of a refractor and reflector telescope, using both mirrors and lens to focus the incoming light. 31. Historically, the refractor was initially the more popular tool for manufacturing reasons. Early manufacturing shops were unable to produce mirrors of sufficient quality for use as reflecting telescopes, and were unable to design a reflecting telescope where the head of the person viewing the image did not block the reflected light (the "front-view obstruction problem"). 32. A weakness of refractors is chromatic aberration. Chromatic aberration is caused by a lens having a different refractive index for different wavelengths of light. Differing wavelengths of light are dispersed as they pass through a lens, as in a rainbow. In optics, this results in purple fringing and a blurred image. 33. British scientist Sir Isaac Newton implemented the first reflector circa 1670. He designed the reflector in order to solve the problem of chromatic aberration. Reflector mirrors eliminate chromatic aberration because, unlike a lens used in refractors, light does not pass through a mirror; it reflects and the wavelengths of light are not dispersed as they reflect. Newton also solved the front-view obstruction problem by positioning the mirrors at angles. 34. The Cassegrain reflector is a combination of two mirrors used in some telescopes, which are then known as Cassegrain telescopes. First developed in 1672 by Laurent Cassegrain, this reflector is a combination of a primary concave mirror and a secondary convex mirror, both aligned symmetrically about the optical axis defined in form as a parabolic primary and a hyperbolic secondary. 35. Ordinary Cassegrain reflector mirrors eliminate chromatic aberration but still produce spherical aberration and coma. Spherical aberration is an image imperfection that occurs due to the increased refraction of light rays that occurs when rays strike a lens or mirror near its edge, in comparison with those that strike nearer the center. Coma is an optical aberration in an astronomical telescope which causes a V-shaped flare to the image of a star. 36. Coma is an inherent property of telescopes using parabolic mirrors. Light from a point source (such as a star) in the center of the field is perfectly focused at the focal point of the mirror. When the light source is off- center (off-axis), however, the different parts of the mirror do not reflect the light to the same point. This results in a point of light that is not in the center of the field looking wedge-shaped. This effect worsens as the light moves further off-axis. This causes stars to appear to have a cometary coma, hence the name "coma" for the effect. 37. Spherical aberration is an image imperfection that occurs due to the increased refraction of light rays that occurs when rays strike a lens or mirror near its edge, in comparison with those that strike nearer the center. For small telescopes using spherical mirrors with shorter focal ratios, light from a distant point source (such as a star) is not all focused at the same point. Particularly, light striking the inner part of the mirror focuses further from the mirror than light striking the outer part. As a result the image cannot be focused as sharply as if the aberration were not present. 38. The Ritchey-Chretien form of the Cassegrain telescope is an important modification of the classical Cassegrain two mirror telescope. It was invented by George Willis Ritchey and Henri Chrétien in the early 20th century; the first Ritchey-Chretien was made for the U.S. Naval Observatory in the 1930s. The Ritchey-Chretien design is a specialized Cassegrain reflector which has two hyperbolic mirrors (instead of a parabolic primary). The curvature of the two mirrors in the Ritchey-Chrétien design are described by the following relationships: where: * C1 and C2 are the Schwarzschild deformation coefficients for the primary and secondary mirrors, respectively, * F is the effective focal length of the entire system, * B is the back focal length, or the distance from the secondary to the focus, and * D is the distance between the two mirrors. 39. The design of the Ritchey-Chretien corrects for coma and spherical aberration. The Ritchey-Chretien design is free of coma and spherical aberration at a flat focal plane, making it well suited for wide field and photographic observations. Because it is a reflector telescope, it does not suffer from chromatic aberration, unlike catadioptric or refractor telescopes. 40. The Ritchey-Chretien form of the Cassegrain telescope is the optimal design available with today's optical technology. It is the design used for advanced astronomy, such as the Hubble Space Telescope. DEFENDANTS FALSELY MARKET MEADE'S DESIGN AS A RITCHEY-CHRETIEN-DESIGN INCORPORATING RITCHEY-CHRETIEN OPTICS 41. Meade is a manufacturer of consumer telescopes for amateur astronomy enthusiasts, as well as for business and government. Commencing in 2005, Defendants began to advertise falsely that Meade's RCX 400 series telescopes are Ritchey-Chretien telescopes incorporating Ritchey-Chretien optics. Commencing in March, 2006, Defendants began to advertise falsely that Meade's LX200R series telescopes are Ritchey-Chretien telescopes incorporating Ritchey-Chretien optics. Meade advertised: "Now you can own what the professionals own." 42. The acronym "RC" in the model name of the RCX 400 series telescopes and the letter "R" in the model name of the LX200R series telescopes imply falsely that the telescopes are Ritchey-Chretien telescopes and incorporate Ritchey-Chretien optics. 43. The RCX 400 series telescopes and the LX200R series telescopes bear markings or imprints including the acronym "RC" or the letter "R" on the telescopes or containers, implying falsely that the telescopes are Ritchey-Chretien telescopes and incorporate Ritchey-Chretien optics. 44. The Meade telescopes do not have Ritchey-Chretien optics. The RCX400 and LX200R optical design consists of a slightly hyperbolic to ellipsoidal secondary mirror and a spherical primary mirror with a corrector lens, instead of two strongly hyperbolic mirrors having the defining Ritchey- Chretien curvature. The RCX400 and the LX200R are catadioptric telescopes (combination mirror and lens); the Ritchey-Chretien design is a pure reflector. 45. On information and belief, each of B&HPhoto, Adorama, S&H, 20/20 telescopes, Anacortes, ACL, Durango Skies, OPT, Skies Unlimited, Telescopes.com, Wolfe's, HOO, Nature's Odyssey, Optics Planet and Scope City (collectively, the "Meade Dealers") are authorized dealers of Meade's products, to whom Meade refers the public generally, and amateur astronomy enthusiasts in particular, when they seek to purchase telescopes. 46. On information and belief, each of the Meade Dealers holds itself out to the public generally, and to amateur astronomy enthusiasts in particular, as possessing expertise in the technical specifications of telescopes, on which expertise they encourage amateur astronomy enthusiasts to rely. Each of them knows or should know that the Meade RCX400 series and LX200R series telescopes are not Ritchey-Chretien design and do not incorporate Ritchey-Chretien optics. 47. Although some dealers of telescopes honestly have refused to describe the Meade RCX400 series and LX200R series telescopes as Ritchey- Chretien telescopes, each of the Meade Dealers have participated in and profited by Meade's fraudulent deception. Each of them: (i) advertises the Meade RCX400 series and the LX200R series as "Ritchey-Chretien" telescopes, (ii) responds to inquiries by potential customers by representing that the Meade RCX400 series and the LX200R series are "Ritchey-Chretien" telescopes, and (iii) has responded to inquiries from consumers seeking to purchase Ritchey-Chretien telescopes and apparently relying on the dealers' expertise by suggesting Meade's telescopes and advising that the Meade RCX400 series and the LX200R series are "Ritchey-Chretien" telescopes. STAR INSTRUMENTS AND RC OPTICAL HAVE BEEN INJURED BY DEFENDANTS' SCHEME 48. The market for Ritchey-Chretien telescopes is a niche market, to which Star Instruments and RC Optical are the main sources of supply. Defendants' scheme threatens to destroy that niche market and the businesses of Star and RC Optical. 49. Star Instruments and RC Optical have suffered substantial direct injury from Defendants' scheme, threatening the very existences of their businesses. Because Meade does not utilize Ritchey-Chretien optics, Defendants can offer to sell the RCX400 and the LXR200R at prices which are only a fraction of the manufacturing cost of Ritchey-Chretien telescopes. 50. On information and belief, potential customers for telescopes incorporating Ritchey-Chretien optics bought the cheaper Meade telescopes instead of telescopes incorporating Ritchey-Chretien optics manufactured by Star Instruments under the false belief that the Meade telescopes incorporated Ritchey-Chretien optics. 51. On information and belief, potential customers of RC Optical bought the cheaper Meade telescopes instead of telescopes manufactured by RC Optical under the false belief that the Meade telescopes incorporated Ritchey-Chretien optics. 52. On information and belief, potential customers who contacted RC Optical seeking to purchase Ritchey-Chretien telescopes bought the cheaper Meade telescopes instead of telescopes manufactured by RC Optical under the false belief that the Meade telescopes incorporated Ritchey-Chretien optics. 53. On information and belief, potential customers who contacted telescope dealers seeking to purchase telescopes incorporating Ritchey- Chretien optics bought the cheaper Meade telescopes instead of telescopes incorporating Ritchey-Chretien optics manufactured by Star Instruments under the false belief that the Meade telescopes incorporated Ritchey-Chretien optics. 54. Star Instruments and RC Optical also have suffered severe damage to their reputations as a consequence of Defendants' scheme. Potential customers may believe that Star Instruments and RC Optical, the industry leaders in this niche market, are price-gouging, although the truth is that it is practically impossible to manufacture and sell Ritchey-Chretien telescopes with Ritchey-Chretien optics except at prices exponentially greater than Meade's falsely described, but cheaper, telescope. 55. Defendants' false advertising depressed the market price for Ritchey-Chretien telescopes, compelling RC Optical and Star Instruments to reduce their prices and lose profits which they would have made had prices been set in market conditions unaffected by Defendants' false use in commerce of the terms "Ritchey" and "Ritchey-Chretien," the acronym "RC," the letter "R" and other symbols on or in connection with telescopes or containers for telescopes in commercial advertising or promotion. 56. As of the date hereof, Star Instrument's losses from Defendants' scheme exceed $400,000.00 and continue to accrue. 57. As of the date hereof, RC Optical's losses from the Defendants' scheme exceed $400,000.00 and continue to accrue. AZARI"S PURCHASE OF A MEADE LX200R TELESCOPE 58. Azari sought to purchase a Ritchey-Chretien telescope. He contacted B&H Photo on or about September 1, 2006, and requested a Ritchey-Chretien telescope. B&H Photo recommended the Meade RCX400 or LX200R, and assured him that each was a Ritchey-Chretien. 59. Azari purchased a new Meade LX200R telescope from B&H Photo on or about September 6, 2006. He paid $2,873.00 for the telescope, plus an additional $94.90 for shipping, for a total of $2,967.90. B&H delivered the telescope to Azari in Florida. 60. The telescope delivered to Azari is not a Ritchey-Chretien telescope. It is a catadioptric telescope (combination mirror and lens); the Ritchey-Chretien is a pure reflector. The Meade telescope has a corrector lens with an ellipsoidal (not hyperbolic) secondary mirror. The defining Ritchey-Chretien curvature of the mirrors also is absent. The ellipsoidal secondary mirror measures less than a parabola; it is not hyperbolic as in a Ritchey-Chretien. [rest of 70 or so page complaint omitted] Dated: October 31, 2006 Yours, etc., LAW OFFICE OF RUSSELL K. STATMAN By: ___________/S/____________________ Russell K. Statman, Esq. (RS6437) Attorney for the Plaintiff 334 Cornelia Street, PMB 146 Plattsburgh NY 12901-2312 JURY DEMAND Plaintiff demands trial by jury. Dated: November 1, 2006 LAW OFFICE OF RUSSELL K. STATMAN By: ___________/S/___________________ Russell K. Statman, Esq. (RS6437) Attorney for the Plaintiff 334 Cornelia Street, PMB 146 Plattsburgh NY 12901-2312 -- See message header for info on list archives or unsubscribing, and please send personal replies to the author, not the list.