Public Citizen filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit in Florida by two affiliated informercial companies that are attempting to shut down negative reviews of their day trading software on the websites InfomercialRatings.com and InfomercialScams.com. The companies claimed that running a website where consumers can post reviews of their products constitutes trademark infringement and a variety of other wrongs, and sought triple damages and attorneys’ fees against the site’s owner. In its motion to dismiss, Public Citizen argues that the Arizona-based website operator is not subject to jurisdiction in Florida, that the websites are protected by the First Amendment, that posting reviews is not trademark infringement, and that the Communications Decency Act protects a website owner from liability for what users post on the site.
Well, yeah. Especially these two: “the websites are protected by the First Amendment, [and] posting reviews is not trademark infringement.” Motion to dismiss? I hope there’s a motion for sanctions in the pipeline.
It’s not infrequently possible to blind judges to what’s really going on by flashing a bunch of trademark registrations in front of them, usually in a big fat Exhibit A to a complaint. Small businesses can’t keep up with the cost of defending their litigation activities, and are getting hammered by IP overreach. This is one right-wing nut saying, thank God for Public Citizen on this issue.
Originally posted 2014-10-06 09:52:09. Republished by Blog Post Promoter