Defamation Lawyer Disclaimer
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.
SOLUTIONS FROM SCIENCE, INC. v. EMERGENCY SEEDS, INC.
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS (CHICAGO)
It’s interesting that if you go out as a company and publish fake reviews that are positive about your company this “astroturfing” can get you in serious trouble with state attorneys’ general or the Federal Trade Commission. If you go out and attack a competitor through the publication of false comments, the federal and state authorities don’t get involved at all to help the party under attack. Maybe things will change, but at this point the only recourse is the private legal process of having your lawyer force the publisher and defamer to stop.
The Plaintiff offers seeds that it alleges produce more nutritionally dense fruits and vegetables and this product is attractive to self- reliant consumers who want to secure an inexpensive and sustainable way to provide fresh, healthy food for their families year round. Once again Defendant ESI is apparently a competitor. Plaintiff alleges that the Defendant is manufacturing and then posting fake “consumer reviews” on websites it controls falsely criticizing the Plaintiff.
Plaintiff alleges trademark infringement, false designation of origin, false description and representation, false advertising, cybersquatting, trademark dilution, violation of the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, and product disparagement/trade libel. The prayer for relief includes requests for preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, an accounting of Defendant’s profits, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees. Traverse Internet Law Cross-Reference Number 1463.
AMERICAN GRANBY, INC. v DAWN INDUSTRIES, INC.
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK (SYRACUSE)
Again, this is representative of an apparent increase in the willingness of competitors to directly criticize others in the marketplace. Before publishing any type of comparative advertising or comments, expressed or implied, about your competitor, get it cleared by your attorney.
American Granby is a leading distributor in the wholesale pump, pool and spa, turf irrigation and plumbing and heating markets. Defendant competes by selling certain products, including pipe and hose cutters, on its website. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant has published on its website in the FAQ section that Plaintiff’s products “had serious problems with leaking” and are a “cheap knockoff” of its own products.
American Granby claims unfair competition, defamation, trade libel, interference with existing and prospective contracts, false advertising, deceptive business acts and practices, and unfair competition. The lawsuit requests preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, corrective advertising, a retraction of all false and misleading claims, actual damages, an accounting and award of Defendant’s profits, treble damages, costs and attorneys’ fees. Traverse Internet Law Cross-Reference Number 1464.
PRECISION IBC, INC. v. PCM CAPITAL, LLC, ET AL.
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA (MOBILE)
It’s interesting to see a dramatic increase in the number of defamation and trade libel lawsuits filed in December. We are reviewing four major ones in this federal court report. Competitors are apparently becoming more aggressive in publishing criticism that is crossing the line into false, material factual misrepresentations.
The parties are in the business of selling and leasing intermediate bulk containers designed to store and transport hazardous and sensitive materials. The Defendants are alleged to have published on their website, and then online elsewhere, a “press release” in which the Defendants are alleged to falsely claim that the tanks used by the Plaintiff are of “lower quality” and have “serious quality issues”. The comments also included a suggestion that the tanks used by the Plaintiff did not comply with the United Nations/Department of Transportation specifications and could cause exposure to the consumer of “very costly legal liability”.
Defendants are accused of violating the Lanham Act and libel per se. The prayer for relief includes claims for preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, a retraction statement issued by Defendants, an accounting and payment of Defendants’ profits, corrective advertising, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees. Traverse Internet Law Cross-Reference Number 1465.
MICROBRIGHTFIELD, INC. v. STEREOLOGY RESOURCE CENTER, INC. and PETER R. MOUTON
DISTRICT OF VERMONT (BURLINGTON)
Note that many of theses lawsuits are not only against a corporation but also against an individual. The party who actually is responsible for coming up with the wording or placing the allegedly defamatory words on a website is often personally liable.
The parties sell competing stereology systems. These systems provide three dimensional interpretations of two dimensional images as applied to the light sciences industry. Plaintiff alleges that the Defendant’s website contains extensive false statements, both express and implied, concerning the pricing, quality, features and capabilities of Plaintiff’s products.
Lawsuit counts include false and misleading advertising, trade libel, and common law unfair competition. Plaintiff requests preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, actual damages, treble damages, costs, and attorneys’ fees. Traverse Internet Law Cross-Reference Number 1466.