Yet Another Lawsuit Over Whether A Company Can Ban The Sale Of Its Products Online
from the first-sale dept
Not so far, claims the judge. The court refused to grant a summary judgment, claiming that, even though Total Health makes it abundantly clear that it is not an authorized reseller, because Total Health uses the pronouns "we" and "our" in describing Standard Process' products that it somehow (how? who knows?) implies evidence of an affiliation. That seems like quite a stretch. The judge also notes that since Total Health shows up as the top ad result in a search for Standard Process, there's an implied association (why? again... that's not explained at all). There are a few other questionable bits of reasoning by the judge, highlighted at the link above. The judge did rule in Total Health's favor on the question of whether or not it interfered with the "contract" between Standard Process and its authorized resellers, by noting that there's no actual contract if Standard Process just tells the resellers the terms without any actual agreement or exchange taking place. It has the right to stop selling to those resellers, but not to claim that they broke an existing contract.
Still the first part of this ruling does seem quite questionable. It seems like a stretch to think that any moron in a hurry would be confused by Total Health's marketing claims -- when it quite clearly states that it's not an official reseller of Standard Process' goods. It seems like the court twisted itself over backwards to try to come up with any loose link to try to make that connection.