Whatever you might think of Gartner's research and its silly "magic quadrant" system, I don't think anyone could reasonably question that it was just Gartner's opinion. Yet, a few months ago, we wrote about a company, ZL, that was so upset that Gartner put it in its niche
quadrant, rather than the desired "magic quadrant," that it sued. We didn't expect the lawsuit to get very far (similar lawsuits over how Google ranks companies have been tossed
pretty quickly). And, indeed, a judge appears to have found little worthwhile
in ZL's lawsuit, quickly dismissing all of the arguments, and noting that Gartner is free to have its own damn opinion, no matter how much others (or the subjects of that opinion) might disagree:
"Finally, ZL argues that Gartner's representation that it provides 'highly discerning research that is objective, defensible, and credible to help [customers] do their job better' implies that its Reports contain objective assertions of fact. Gartner notes that this language appears not in the MQ Report but on its website and that the language describes Gartner's research services generally rather than the MQ Report in particular.... More to the point, the terms 'objective, defensible, and credible' do not imply the assertion of factual information. Gartner argues convincingly that even if its self-description did refer to the statements within the MQ Report, its 'sophisticated readers' -- corporate and government executives and professionals -- would not infer that Gartner's rankings were anything other than opinion."
Still, the judge gave ZL an opportunity to amend the complaint, and the statement from the company indicates that it's planning to try to come up with some other ridiculous argument against Gartner. Maybe it should just focus on satisfying what its customers want, and stop worrying about what some analyst at Gartner has to say.