Friday, November 21, 2008

Defamation Lawyer: Traverse Internet Law Federal Court Report: October 2008 Defamation Lawsuits

The facts are unproven allegations of the Plaintiff and all commentary is based upon the allegations, the truthfulness and accuracy of which are likely in dispute.

FILED: 9/30/2008

Once again we have litigation between competitors relating to the publication of allegedly defamatory statements and a trademark infringement claim under the federal Lanham Act. It is hard to know whether the use by the Defendant of the Plaintiff's name was in a direct commercial context such that a trademark infringement claim would be appropriate, but a good rule of thumb is that commercial competitors’ claims relating to defamation do generally bring trademark infringement issues into play.
The Plaintiff was incorporated in January of 2004 and since that time has engaged in the business of selling advertising on the Internet to homeowners and other persons and entities offering real estate for sale by owner. The Defendant is a direct competitor of the Plaintiff. The Defendant is alleged to have published defamatory statements and information about the Plaintiff on its website that is false, literally true or ambiguous but which implicitly conveys a false impression.

The lawsuit alleges a trademark infringement claim under the federal Lanham Act, libel per se in that such statements would reasonably be understood to be an expression that attacks the integrity of the Plaintiff, libel per quod in that the statements and information were published with actual knowledge that they were false or with a reckless disregard for their truth, and "false light". Relief requested includes compensatory damages, attorneys' fees and costs, and a permanent injunction that prohibits the publication of future false or defamatory statements, or the assertion of claims that may be true or ambiguous but which implicitly convey a false impression or are misleading in context. Traverse Internet Law Cross-Reference Number 1229.