We’re late on this one folks, but it’s pretty juicy — and important to a blogger like The Homeshoppingista. QVC has lost the first round in its suit to bar HSN vitamin purveyor Andrew Lessman from blasting QVC’s vitamins and dietary supplements in his blog.
We got a tip on this Thursday from our ex-colleague Linda H. on the Left Coast, and than saw that MediaPost wrote about it earlier this week, as did Georgetown University law school professor Rebecca Tushnet on her blog.
U.S. District Court Judge Sue Robinson refused to issue a preliminary injunction and restraining order against Lessman. He may be a very charming, easy-going fellow on-air but his blogs on QVC make our snarky commens about the No. 1 home shopping network look like press releases.
For example, in January he blogged that QVC’s Nature Code brand hair, skin and nail supplement “isn’t healthy…it is just sleazy and deceptive.”
For good measure, he added, that QVC’s “lack of integrity is totally in keeping with the lack of quality of their vitamins.”
And there’s a hell of a lot more mud-slinging along those lines. Read the good professor’s blog for more details on that. Needless to say, QVC was not happy, and filed suit in February in federal court in Delaware.
Lessman does have an ax to grind. He started his TV career selling his products on QVC in 1992, but defected to rival HSN in 1997. Here’s some dish: Lessman was in talks to return to QVC earlier this year, but they fell through. Not coincidentally, that’s when Lessman started dissing QVC in his blog.
We haven’t read the judge’s ruling, so what we know about it is from the professor and MediaPost. But Judge Robinson found that even though Lessman’s nasty blogs about QVC could be misleading, QVC never proved to the court that the comments actually confused consumers. No proof of confusion, no injunction.
But QVC can still continue with its suit against Lessman, it just can’t have an injunction at this point.
We think the court’s ruling is a good one for bloggers like us and the First Amendment, but let’s see what happens if the case makes it to trial.