Over at Boycottzales.com, customers share horror stories of dealings with the jewelry store that bespotts many a suburban mall. The tales include allegations of Mr. Clean being used to spruce up jewelry, minorities being paid more than Caucasians, and engagement rings going in for repairs and never coming out.
Not three weeks into having the site up, the site’s proprietor, Barry, received a cease and desist letter from a Zales attorney. The letter accuses Barry of trademark infringement and defamation.
We’re no lawyers but we’re pretty sure Zales has no case, the site’s disclaimer fairly shields them from the legal threats, and Zales should go stuff it in their coal mine. Check it out and decide for yourself, after the jump…
This is an excerpt Barry received on June 3, 2006 from the law firm of GONZALEZ, SAGIO & HARLAN, L.L.P:
We note that you have created and maintained a website entitled “BoycottZales.com.” You are hereby instructed to immediately cease and desist from maintaining this website. As we indicated to you earlier, we believe that maintaining the same infringes upon Zales’ trademark rights. This will not be tolerated. If you do not cease and desist, I will advise my client to seek to protect its business interest accordingly.
Furthermore, several of the statements made on your website relating to certain Zales employees and stores are incorrect and rise to the level of defamation. Defamation occurs when an individual makes a false statement that is communicated in writing or speech to a person other than the person defamed that is unprivileged and tends to harm that person’s reputation so as to lower that person’s esteem in the community or to deter third parties from associating or dealing with that person. The comments made on your website clearly fall within the purview of this definition. If you do not cease and desist, I will advise my client to protect its interest with regard to this as well.
What do you think? Any advice for Barry? Zales: hot or not?