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AMERIPLAN TO FORK OUT $5.5 MILLION TO DISTRIBUTOR – MORE COMING

AWAY HIT BY 9TH COURT OF APPEALS ON ARBITRATION
Apr 2009 - This is a big case for Distributors, basically says Amway can't enforce Arbitration Clauses!
Read and Save the PDF of the case.  Post this MLM Lawsuit all over the web!

A Dallas county jury has awarded a $5.5 million verdict in a contract dispute to Anthony Anderson, a Houston man who was a former independent sales agent for Ameriplan of Dallas greater area.  Ameriplan terminated him in November 2005 after he had worked for them nine years. The plaintiff’s Houston attorney, Ross Sears of Sears Crawford, is also pursuing two similar cases and says AmeriPlan’s promotional materials pose a challenge for the Plano based MLM company.  Editor's note: AmeriPlan Comments are here



TRUMP NETWORK OWNERS BORROWED MONEY FROM TOM MOWER TO PAY DISTRIBUTORS - DIDN'T DO IT



ZRII LLC Vs LIFEVANTAGE CORPORATION LAWSUIT
SETTLED FOR $400,000
DEC 2009 - This lawsuit filed (last Feb. 2009) for $250 million settled at a lot less with Zrii only collecting $400,000.  See original lawsuit at paragraph 7 below.  Evidently the lawsuit(s) against the individuals (Para. 7 below) are still pending. Here is Lifevantage disclosure that has just been released by Lifevantage.
http://biz.yahoo.com/e/091218/lfvn.ob8-k.html

DISTRIBUTORS WIN $1.9 MILLION DECISION IN ADVOCARE LAWSUIT
Sept 2009 - Dallas, Texas - A  jury awarded $1.9 million in damages against Dallas area MLM company AdvoCare International, LP. The jury noted deceptive trade practices and canceled distributor agreements with two of its independent contractors, Bruce and Teresa Badgett.

The Badgetts' lawsuit started with their termination in 2006, "based upon vague and trumped-up charges." The termination occurred after they had actively spent 12 years building a large amount of business for Advocare.
http://dallas.bizjournals.com/dallas/stories/2009/08/31/daily13.html
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OPRAH & DR. OZ SUING OVER 'FALSE' AÇAÍ BERRY ENDORSEMENT CLAIMS
Winfrey and Oz have filed law suits against 40 companies (some of them MLM) selling açaí or other  products, with their name endorsements on them. The lawsuit says companies are "fabricating quotes or falsely using Ms. Winfrey's & Oz’s name about brands they never endorsed."  They don't endorse dozens of açaí berry products claiming their seal of approval so it is lawsuit time!
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Dr. Oz said on Good Morning America, "Many Americans have seen images of me, and Oprah and others supporting, it would appear, products that actually don't work in the ways that are described," Oz said in an exclusive interview Thursday with ABC's "Good Morning America." "And more importantly, when consumers trusting us try to buy these products over the Web, what they end up getting are fake products, pills that don't really have what's promised in them. They're often duped into paying more than they should. If my picture is next to a product, endorsing it and supporting your purchase of it, I did not give them permission." 
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ip0eg83BtFo2MQpQhuRhfplRBkmgD9A6ULA80

WatchDog opinion note: Understand the MLM companies are in the minority and many of the ones blamed are because of individual websites.  Great that it isn’t the FDA/FTC hitting!  This is why my tech team and I have developed technology to protect MLM companies.  Many companies are forbidding their MLM distributors from having their own websites because of lawsuits like this and FDA/FTC hits.  The MLM WatchDog thinks this is terrible and has come up with technology to give distributors freedom to have their own site, while protecting the company.

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THE EDITOR ON MLM - NETWORK MARKETING LAWSUITS
Editorial Fact: Proof that MLM - Network Marketing has grown into a mature industry is here for all to see.  How? The growing number of lawsuits in the MLM industry.  Forty years ago = no lawsuits!  Today, they are normal business just like banking, finance or realestate. Of course, I am collecting the information to update the MLM law book that I authored.  At this rate I  may need to buy triple terrabyte hard drives!


WHAT? DISGRUNTLED DISTRIBUTOR LAWSUIT UNIVERA - QIVANA
Ed. Note: If you read this lawsuit versus the press release below this is not about disgruntled distributors.  It is about folks paid by Univera as Corporate or Consulting.  Now I am scratching my head????
FEDERAL COURT LAWSUIT UNIVERA VS QIVANA PDF

KOREAN MLM UNIVERA SUES UTAH COMPANY QIVANA
10 MAR 2009 – Univera a Korean owned company input is suing Qivana for attracting disgruntled Distributors …. From Univera Life Sciences!   Editorial Opinion: It's weird for a company to admit it has disgruntled Distributors!  YOUR EDITOR: IF YOU GET A COPY OF LAWSUIT SEND IT OVER PLEASE.
Univera Life Sciences Vs. Qivana - News Release PDF
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ZRII SUES LIFEVANTAGE
Draper, UT, March 5, 2009-Zrii, LLC announced today that on February 27, 2009, Zrii, LLC filed a lawsuit against Lifevantage Corporation (a publicly traded company headquartered in San Diego, CA) for allegedly inducing and conspiring with the former Zrii executive management team and some of its leading Independent Executives to breach their contracts with Zrii, to join Lifevantage as its employees or distributors, and to utilize trade secrets of Zrii for the benefit of Lifevantage. The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court in the Southern District of California (Ref. #:09 CV 0405 L). Zrii alleges and is seeking damages in excess of $250 million for the following counts:
A. Intentional Interference with Contractual Relations
B. Intentional Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage
C. Misappropriation of Proprietary Information and Trade Secrets
D. Violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
E. Violation of the Wiretap Act
F. Violation of Stored Communications Act
G. Violation of Civil RICO
H. Conversion
I. Unfair Competition in Violation of Cal. Business & Professions Code
J. Unjust Enrichment and Restitution

The Company
Zrii, LLC is an international wellness company that utilizes the direct selling industry to market an exclusive nutritional beverage. The company has over 65,000 Independent Executives in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
LINK TO PREVIOUS ZRII INVOLVED LAWSUITS

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MAX INTERNATIONAL EX - CEO ANGEL LEE SUES
Editorial Opinion shaking my head: When corporate hats meet the field?  Or both sides dumb for not having signed contracts?  How about due dilligence from the corporate side before publishing a promo magazine for sales promotion of the company?  I feel sorry for MAX INTERNATIONAL looking at the combat litigators of MLM - Network Marketing against their legal defense team.
                                                        
LAWSUIT ANGEL LEE VS MAX INTERNATIONAL GXL

SLEEPER IN CLOSET AMWAY SUIT AGAINST MONAVIE
Editorial Opinion: Monavie sued Amway for Distributor interference.  Then Amway gathered a bunch of  violations sure to upset the FDA - FTC and sued Monavie.  No doubt Amway shopped the evidence in that case with the FDA.  But, evidently the Monavie "clean up" of Distributors claims kept the hammer from coming down.  However that case is still pending.  See middle of page:
http://www.mlmwatchdog.com/mlm_amway_quixtar_mona_vie_monavie_lawsuit.html
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LAWSUITS & PATENTS A THREAT TO YOUR MLM COMPANY!
Warn Your Company Asap!
            In recent months, several Direct Selling companies, including both party plan sellers and network marketers, have been targeted in lawsuits brought by the owner of a patent for a business method relating to sales of products via the internet. Reshare Commerce, LLC., a Minneapolis based company, asserts that its patent, issued in 2003, covers the only “channel management solution that enables manufacturers and brand owners to sell online direct to end users without circumventing valuable channel partners.” Broadly viewed, Reshare claims exclusivity to the business method of allowing distributors to earn commissions when consumer purchases are made directly with a company through the Internet.

           Prior to 1998, patents on business methods such as this did not exist, and the justification for allowing them has been steeped in controversy ever since. In November 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Bilski v. Kappos, the first major case testing the limits of what should and should not be considered a patentable business method. At the time of this writing, the Court’s decision had not been released, but it is anxiously awaited and should issue soon. Savvy Court-watchers believe the Justices think little of the argument that the method at issue in that case is patent eligible. One blogger reported: “The Court was clearly concerned about conferring the broadest scope to method claims, such as "anything that helps any businessman succeed is patentable because we reduce it to a number of steps," according to Justice Breyer.”

       In the meantime, however, companies under attack by Reshare have had difficult and potentially expensive decisions to make regarding their response strategy. Reshare filed its first suit based on the patent on November 2, 2009 (within days of the Supreme Court oral arguments of the Bilski case). The two direct selling companies named as defendants in that action have since entered confidential settlements with Reshare. EDITORS NOTE: RUMORS ARE THAT IT WAS ADVOCARE (the terminators) & AVON.  One of the three other defendants in that case is continuing to litigate.   Then on April 30, 2010, Rehare filed another suit attacking 12 more companies, including 7 other direct selling companies. Even more ominous, perhaps, is the fact that two of Reshare’s top executives were in attendance as non-members at the recent ( June 6-8 ) annual meeting of the DSA in San Francisco.  EDITORS NOTE: I MET WITH ONE OF THEM AND HE WAS A NICE GUY.
       Watchful, and hopeful, waiting may be the recommended course for the many direct selling companies not yet targeted. But, especially if your company employs a method for assigning commission credit to distributors who are not involved in soliciting the sale of products purchased by consumers directly over the company web site, you may also want to consult an Intellectual Property skilled lawyer or law firm to discuss the implications of the Reshare patent lawsuits.


( Base Article By Rick Waak, of Nehra and Waak, to whom follow-up may be directed.  The watchdog added material of opinionated nature that the lawfirm is not responsible for.)

TAGS: LAWSUITS, PATENT LAWSUITS. BUSINESS PROCESS LAWSUITS, LAWSUITS FOR PATENT VIOLATIONS.

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