Trademark / Legal Question

5 replies
I have a product review website where I Write about various different trademarked products. I just received an email from one of the manufacturers of a product, which we will call XYZ:

"Your information on Product XYZ is factually incorrect. This damages our product image.

Please remove any of your references to Product XYZ or we will pursue legal action against you which will also include recovery of our legal costs.

Product XYZ is trade mark protected."

Am I legally bound to remove this review? I'm not looking for expert legal advice, just the advice of any of those that have been there / done that, and what you did.

Thanks.
#legal #question #trademark
  • Profile picture of the author Johnny Optimo
    If they own the trademark, I'd just remove the info as requested. Is it making you much money specifically anyway?

    Even if their case is really weak, do you want to go through the hassle of dealing with it?

    I say remove the info and just move on.

    You could also ask them if you might be able to modify the review to make it correct, which could be mutually beneficial.
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    Warriors,
    I'm a web developer and iOS app developer - I'll make you a website or app! http://949web.com
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    • Profile picture of the author rvrabel2002
      Originally Posted by Johnny Optimo View Post

      If they own the trademark, I'd just remove the info as requested. Is it making you much money specifically anyway?

      Even if their case is really weak, do you want to go through the hassle of dealing with it?

      I say remove the info and just move on.

      You could also ask them if you might be able to modify the review to make it correct, which could be mutually beneficial.

      Good call, it really is not making me much money anyway. Just thought I would throw it out there.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    It's either remove it or risk spending a lot of money to defend yourself in court.
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  • Profile picture of the author onSubie
    Hi

    It depends how much money the company wants to waste going after you.

    It would be easy to "play safe" by removing the content. But if companies could just sue anyone who printed an unfavourable review, then organizations like Consumer Reports would have been sued out of business long ago.

    Can you imagine if Toyota could sue into silence anyone who mentioned their bad brakes?

    If they have said you have incorrect facts, then simply tell them it is an unbiased review but you would be happy to review the items they feel are inaccurate.

    Saying something like "the handle is flimsy and makes the widget awkward to use" is not "factually incorrect", it is your opinion, which is the point of an unbiased review.

    Tell them use of their trademark is clearly "fair use" under the laws of any country (including the US) and ask for the contact information for their legal counsel.

    Send a reply to their legal council explaining how reviews of products are covered under "fair use". Continue communicating with their legal counsel because they will be billed for the time their legal team spends talking to you.

    Of course, you could run into idiots that have more money than brains and try to pursue it anyway, so you have to decide if it is easier to buckle.

    Mahlon

    PS I'm not a lawyer, but I'd love to play one on TV.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    I would have thought you are well within your rights to give your honest review of the product. As the poster above mentioned so long as you make it clear that it is simply YOUR opinion of the product then I don't think these people can make you do much - they are just trying to scare you by the sounds of it.

    It also depends in which context you are using the review. If you are negatively talking down their product in order to sell another product on that same website then that's a different story - especially if your claims are false.

    Note: None of us are lawyers so take any of this random advice given as just that - random advice.
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