Trademark violation is a common and completely BOGUS and unsubstantiated complaint we occasionally get from retailers (or their lawyers) who don’t like us reviewing their products, or don’t like what we have to say about their products. What we “say” on this web site falls well within the realms of both “Fair Use” and “Fair Comment.” As such, retailers may not be happy about what we have to say, but they should recognize that we’re well within our rights to say it.
Of course, there’s always exceptions to this rule.
In our 11 year history, we’ve received more than our share of “cease and desist” letters. In these, manufacturers/retailers accuse of us of various copyright and trademark violations, threatening us with ominous legal consequences and prohibitive court costs if we do not remove the “offending” review (incidentally, they never contest the content of our reviews).
That said, here’s the note our host received from a “representative” of Synetgy LLC, a company which – according to this little snippet from CourtHouse news – was once sued for swiping the photos of a married couple from their business web site, and posting them on Synetgy’s Web site, “with false testimonials, claiming the plaintiffs lost weight with defendant’s product, Zylorin.”
To whom it may concern,
My name is Craig Schwartz and I am duly authorized to act on behalf of Synetgy LLC, DBA who owns the “Phenocal” trademark.
The type & way http://www.ultimatefatburner.com/phenocal-fat-burner-review.html has followed to represent information regarding Phenocal is not good. It is affecting the brand value of Phenocal and misleading visitors.
- On the page http://www.ultimatefatburner.com/phenocal-fat-burner-review.html the website is directly promoting affiliate products
- The website is trying to use the online brand value of Phenocal to sell their affiliate product which is not a good practice.
This letter is official notification under Section 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (”DMCA”), and I seek the removal of the aforementioned infringing material from your servers. I request that you immediately notify the infringer of this notice and inform them of their duty to remove the infringing material immediately, and notify them to cease any further posting of infringing material to your server in the future.
Please also be advised that law requires you, as a service provider, to remove or disable access to the infringing materials upon receiving this notice. Under US law a service provider, such as yourself, enjoys immunity from a copyright lawsuit provided that you act with deliberate speed to investigate and rectify ongoing copyright infringement. If service providers do not investigate and remove or disable the infringing material this immunity is lost. Therefore, in order for you to remain immune from a copyright infringement action you will need to investigate and ultimately remove or otherwise disable the infringing material from your servers with all due speed should the direct infringer, your client, not comply immediately.
I am providing this notice in good faith and with the reasonable belief that rights my company owns are being infringed. Under penalty of perjury I certify that the information contained in the notification is both true and accurate, and I have the authority to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright(s) involved.
P.S. : Please find the duly attached PDF
Golden Street Media
50 Tice Boulevard
This is a simple bullying tactic. For instance, just recently, for example, a court threw out Wal-Mart’s attempt to stifle criticism through trademark law.
Additionally, any lawsuit brought against UltimateFatBurner.com would meet the legal definition of a SLAPP suit. You can read a little more about the legality of these claims here. Oh, and we’re adding Phenocal to our list of companies that use threats of bogus lawsuits to suppress free speech.