Impersonating Blog and Fake Linkedin Account Lead to LawsuitSeptember 20, 2010
Blogging and social networking sites can be useful for promoting your organization and its products or services. Unfortunately, these resources can also be used by competitors and other third parties to impersonate your organization. Recently, allegations of blogging impersonation and a fake Linkedin account resulted in a lawsuit between two brothers who previously worked together in a Nevada-based wedding planner service called "Brides Club."
According to a complaint filed in a federal court in Utah, the plaintiff Ash Buckles, a Utah resident, had worked with Brides Club in an information systems role, including responsibilities for the company's web site and email system. In 2008, Ash's role with Brides Club terminated. The defendants claimed that, after Ash left the company, it began experiencing many technical problems with its web sites, blogs, links and that Ash was unresponsive when it attempted to contact him about the problems. In the fall of 2008, an impersonating blog and fake Linkedin account appeared in Ash Buckles' name which apparently contained false and misleading information.
Ash filed the lawsuit against the company and his brother, Brad Buckles, alleging that they were behind the blog and fake Linkedin account. The allegations remain disputed, however, the court recently denied defendant Brides Club and Brad Buckles' motion to dismiss the case for lack of personal jurisdiction in Utah. The court found that it had specific personal jurisdiction over these two defendants and the case will go forward in Utah.
Is your organization being impersonated online? Due diligence in policing the Internet for impersonating sites or social networking sites is essential to find out. If impersonating activities are found, prompt action should be taken to stop them. Review the Buckles v Brides Club decision on jurisdiction.
For more information about legislation or litigation involving technology, intellectual property protection of information technology assets or any other Information Technology law issue, contact your Miller Canfield attorney or Kathy Ossian, Leader of our Information Technology Team, at 313.496.7644.