Infinium Labs today announced it may file a legal complaint against hardware information site HardOCP for defamation. According to an Infinium PR rep, HardOCP was "one of the original sites to have spread misinformation" about makers of the to-be-released Phantom game console.
The potential suit stems from a September 2003 HardOCP article on Infinium and the Phantom, which singled out the company's chairman and CEO, Timothy M. Roberts, for special attention. The article pointed out that several companies on Roberts' resume had gone bankrupt, and it claimed to have firsthand reports that the Infinium offices were a "ghost town" at the time.
In a conference call to analysts and the press, Infinium president and COO Kevin Bachus said the article was "false and defamatory," and it "painted a portrait of a company intent on swindling the public...and that is unacceptable."
According to Bachus, Infinium will begin legal action within 10 days unless HardOCP removes the article from its site. Bachus said the action is necessary for the company to maintain a "credible and direct relationship with consumers."
Infinium has come under more than the usual amount of scrutiny since its Phantom game console was announced in January 2003. Numerous media reports have questioned the company's business practices, including a Sarasota Herald-Tribune article highlighting some executive stock deals.
Late today, HardOCP's editor-in-chief, Kyle Bennett, issued a response standing by his story. "I have extended HardOCP.com's pledge to correct any and all possible inconsistencies or errors in our editorial entitled 'Behind the Phantom Console' personally to Timothy Roberts and Kevin Bachus of Infinium Labs, and they have yet to inform HardOCP.com of any information we presented as being not correct," he said.
Bennett also posted a scan of a letter from the prestigious law firm Morrison and Foerster demanding the story be taken down.