Friday, March 20, 2009

Defamation Lawyer:Traverse Internet Law Federal Court Report: February 2009 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.


THERMAL REMEDIATION SERVICES, INC. v. MCMILLAN-MCGEE CORP.
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA (ATLANTA)
1:09-CV-00537
FILED: 2/27/2009

We have another lawsuit being filed because of legal claims relating to intellectual property. When you assert that you have exclusive ownership and rights to a piece of intellectual property, you have created a “case in controversy” that can precipitate a lawsuit against you not only based upon a declaratory judgment but other grounds. Whether the assertion of a legal claim can constitute “defamation” is an issue that is up in the air.

The Plaintiff provides contaminated soil and groundwater remediation and related goods and services. The Defendant is a competitor of the Plaintiff. Defendant claims that they have exclusive rights to a patent for industry specific technology. Plaintiff claims that such a claim is false, inaccurate, and misleading and is defamatory.

The lawsuit alleges trademark infringement, violations of Georgia’s Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, defamation and commercial disparagement, and tortious interference with business relations. Compensatory damages, punitive damages, expenses of litigation, and attorneys’ fees are requested in the prayer for relief, as well as preliminary and permanent injunctive relief. Traverse Internet Law Cross-Reference Number 1292.


PACIFICBASIN COMMUNICATIONS, LLC v. MODERN LUXURY MEDIA, LLC
DISTRICT OF HAWAII
1:09-CV-00081
FILED: 2/26/2009

This defamation claim results from “comparative advertising” in which the Defendant has attempted to distinguish its readership and loyalty of its ownership with the Plaintiff’s magazine. This is an effort to generate advertising dollars by convincing advertisers that Defendant’s magazine is better suited for their purposes. There is an entirely different set of rules for using “comparative advertising” that require much more due diligence and care with the wording and characterization. Keep in mind if you are going to be conducting comparative advertising you are not only putting forth your best foot, but by doing so it often results in your pointing out the deficiencies of your competitor’s product or service. The use of this type of a technique is inherently high risk.
The Plaintiff, PacificBasin Communications, LLC, is a Hawaii company and the owner and publisher of various magazines including “Honolulu” magazine. The Defendant is the owner and publisher of “Modern Luxury Hawaii” magazine. The Defendant’s chief executive officer sent an email which was comparing various aspects of the two magazines and allegedly making the point that the Defendant’s magazine was better suited for luxury advertisers. The Plaintiff’s have taken exception to this characterization.

The lawsuit alleges copyright infringement, unfair competition, defamation, and unfair and deceptive trade practices. The Plaintiff has moved for an injunction, the remedial communications to the recipients of the alleged defamatory comments, compensatory damages, punitive damages, statutory damages, and attorneys’ fees and costs. Traverse Internet Law Cross-Reference Number 1293.


CERAMIC PERFORMANCE WORLDWIDE, LLC v. MOTOR WORKS, LLC, ET AL.
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS (DALLAS)
3:09-CV-00344
FILED: 2/20/2009

This is a claim, in effect, for defamation, by alleging that the defamatory comments are going to interfere with the Plaintiff’s business relationships. Once again, I believe we are looking at a preemptory strike in litigation to avoid claims that appear to be asserted for intellectual property violations and unfair competition against the Plaintiff. This does raise the very real issue as to whether claiming copyright infringement in a public way is a defamatory statement or a mere claim based upon an opinion.

Plaintiff is engaged in the distribution and sales of metal treatment products for the automotive industry. The Defendant is also involved in the same industry. Plaintiff claims that it purchased products from the Defendant and that the Defendant has orally told third parties that Plaintiff has unlawfully copied Defendant’s website contents.

Plaintiff sued for a declaratory judgment that it was not infringing on copy of the Defendant’s copyright or competing unfairly as the Defendants had alleged. In addition, there is a count for tortious interference with “perspective” [sic] business relationships and request for an award of compensatory and punitive damages and attorneys’ fees. Traverse Internet Law Cross-Reference Number 1294.

ASCENTIVE, LLC v. 1SHOPPINGCART.COM, ET AL.
DISTRICT OF OREGON (PORTLAND)
3:09-CV-00186
FILED: 2/13/2009

The defamation claim in this case is asserted against the owner of a forum based upon the contents of the forum. This is very fertile ground for litigation and many businesses do not realize how they must manage a forum or otherwise host third party generated content in order to maintain immunity under section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
Ascentive is a Delaware corporation operating out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Defendant PCPitstop owns and operates websites online. PCPitstop’s website includes a forum on which moderators of the Defendant have posted false and defamatory statements regarding the Plaintiff’s software, including claims that the software is a “scam”. In addition, the Plaintiff claims that PCPitstop controls the statements posted on its forum, and that some of the false and defamatory statements were posted by its employees.

This lawsuit is primarily a trademark infringement suit but includes defamation claims against PCPitstop and various John Does. The prayer for relief requests an award of compensatory and punitive damages as well as the recovery of attorneys’ fees and costs. Traverse Internet Law Cross-Reference Number 1288.

2 comments:

Bruce said...

sir my wife and I want to sue kitv channel 4 news with darryl hoff for the defamation of character of my wife dr. emma bernaldez we need a lawyer the reason we are poor is because darryl hoff destroyed her career She has nothing just pending ssi I am on disability myself we are planning a hopeful 30 mil suit

Bruce said...

pls contact me at 808-853-8948