Your reputation is one of your business’ most valued assets. Reputation damage can result in grave financial losses. Business owners have legal rights against damaging false statements made about their business by competitors or other people. These lawsuits are complex and business owners need to understand what defamation means. We provide an overview of these laws below.
While laws vary by state, generally any defamation lawsuit involving a business must meet three criteria. First, the actionable statement must be untrue. Second, it must be made in writing or verbally to another person.
To constitute defamation, the statement must be false. Truth is always a defense against a defamation claim. Your case is viable if you can objectively prove that the harmful statement was false. For instance, if a competitor makes a statement that your business does not hire minorities, you could prove the claim was false through employee records showing that you actively hire minorities.
Any claim for defamation must show that the false statement was made to third parties. This could include written publication of the statement, such as in a newspaper or Internet forum. It could also involve verbal communication of the falsehood to a third party.
We take serious action for such incorrect statements.
Types of online product disparagement and trademark infringement include :
Using anonymous comments or pseudonyms to make false claims about a competitor in online product or service reviews
Setting up false rating and review Web sites to disparage a competitor
Posting a Web page, comment or other publication associating a competitor’s product with negative ideas or images
We recommend that if there is information that you are in doubt better discuss and ask us so that it can be explained properly.