"Anti-Aging" Pill Manufacturer SeroVital Sues Amazon for "Bait and Switch" Advertising
Lawsuit Charges Web Giant with "Nefarious" Tactics
NEW YORK, March 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- SanMedica International, LLC, SeroVital™-hgh's distributor, has filed a lawsuit against the web giant Amazon, charging the company with false advertising and "bait and switch" tactics.
The introduction to the lawsuit explains, "SeroVital is a patent-pending dietary supplement that has been shown in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study to promote the human body's natural production of serum human growth hormone levels by a mean over baseline of over 600%. Although there are many products that claim to assist the body in producing growth hormone, SeroVital is unique, because only it has been shown to be effective for both men and women of a wide age range."
In the lawsuit, SanMedica International alleges Amazon is using its unique, research-backed product and recognizable name to "bait" customers into clicking on ads, but is then offering them a completely different product that lacks SeroVital's clinical backing. The claim reads: "Defendant [Amazon] thus capitalizes on the goodwill of Plaintiff's [SanMedica's] scientifically supported product and carefully-developed intellectual property in order to 'bait' people searching for Plaintiff's product on the internet into viewing Defendant's website, where Defendant is then able to 'switch' the product purportedly being offered to products other than those marketed and sold by Plaintiff… This is a classic bait and switch case."
The suit was filed yesterday in the United States District Court for the District of Utah (Case Number 2:13-CV-00169) by the law firm Price Parkinson & Kerr, PLLC, who is clearly pulling no punches when going after Amazon. The lawsuit calls Amazon's actions "especially nefarious," saying, "it is using the name of SeroVital, which is scientifically substantiated, to sell products that lack scientific support for their claims." The suit also claims Amazon "continues to falsely advertise SeroVital for sale as alleged above and to infringe on Plaintiff's trademark by using that trademark in advertisements placed through search engine providers in a manner likely to cause confusion, mistake or to deceive the public."
When questioned about the lawsuit, Jason Kerr — lead attorney on the case for Price, Parkinson & Kerr, would only answer, "No comment." But Chantelle Daines, spokesperson for SanMedica International, said, "We have worked very hard to ensure the integrity of our product, SeroVital-hgh, and we refuse to allow other companies to use our reputation for their own gain. This is not only an infringement on our investment, but is misleading to potential customers who may think they're buying a product backed by SeroVital's serious research, but are not."
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