There is a fine line between protected expression and actionable internet defamation.
Internet defamation is also known as libel or, in some instances, trade libel. Kronenberger Rosenfeld understands the difference between protected speech and defamation and what to do about the latter when it threatens the hard-earned reputation of your business.
From product defamation, to “gripe sites,” to defamation by a competitor, we use our internet defamation experience to get decisive results for our clients.
It takes little time and even less money to create a defamatory website or a disparaging review that quickly ranks high on search engines. Kronenberger Rosenfeld is experienced in utilizing a variety of federal and state laws to vindicate the rights of commercial clients who are the victims of online defamation. Whether the perpetrator is a rogue or former employee or a disgruntled customer, we act quickly and aggressively to root them out and to put an end to their defamatory practices.
Typically, Kronenberger Rosenfeld's primary objective is getting the offending material removed from websites on which it appears and from search engine caches. Where appropriate, however, Kronenberger Rosenfeld also takes legal action, including through civil litigation geared toward recovering damages and other fees.
We have handled cases where defendants used bogus “gripe sites” to post defamatory reviews and redirect internet traffic to competitors; disgruntled customers using negative reviews to extort refunds out of a company; nonconsensual pornography (aka "revenge porn"); and former employees using bogus customer reviews to extort higher severance or simply to spite a company.
We would be happy to bring our experience to bear on your legal matter. If you would like to discuss what Kronenberger Rosenfeld can do for you, please submit your matter using our online case submission form, or call us at 415-955-1155, ext. 120.
- Represented a medical school in a lawsuit against a bogus non-profit consumer review website and a company that was defaming our client. Following a round of subpoenas served on various service providers for defendants, the firm discovered that the defendant was actually controlled by a direct competitor of the client. The matter settled promptly after this revelation.
- Represented the nation’s largest broker of moving and relocation services in business disparagement lawsuit against a so-called consumer review website. The complaint alleged that defendant engaged in search engine spam by numerous uses of our client’s trademark under the auspices of a bogus “black list” which directly benefited the competitors of the firm’s client.
- Represented a top-tier registered agent and corporate services company against direct competitor that had instructed its call center employees to make false statements about the firm’s client.
- Represented an education foundation in an anti-SLAPP appeal on the issue of whether disparaging web speech is subject to an anti-SLAPP motion despite a previously executed non-disparagement clause in a settlement agreement.
- Represented an international nonprofit organization in anonymous defamation matter.