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back to article Publisher fights to save comment forums from plastic surgeons

A US online publisher is fighting to keep its product review forums alive in the face of a trademark lawsuit that seeks to ban the use of one company's product name. Realself.com is a site where people who have undergone plastic surgery review various products and procedures. It has been sued (pdf) by Lifestyle Lift, a facelift …

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Clueless

So they decided that since they had a problem with negative reviews on the Internet, they should issue a lawsuit which would almost guarantee that someone would take notice and write an article about it, preserving some of the worst reviews for eternity on far more public fora even if they managed to get the original website taken down.

Obviously they suck at the Internet as bad as they suck at plastic surgery.

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No sympathy

"...claiming that she was given just three minutes in which to sign the paperwork related to the operation"

I'm sorry, call me callous, but I feel no sympathy. If you feel rushed or pushed into something, especially something as important as surgery (cosmetic or not), it's time to walk away. Someone who doesn't even bother to read what they are signing, especially when it's something as important as surgically altering your face, doesn't deserve sympathy when it doesn't work out right. We have become a society that always insists on blaming someone else. It doesn't matter who or why, we simply *NEED* someone else to blame, because nothing can ever be our fault. She went into surgery knowing the risks (if she didn't know, she should have known). Too often people know and accept the risks of whatever their chosen actions are, and then complain when those risks materialize. When you agree to let someone cut open your face, you just might want to *READ* what you're agreeing to. If you don't, you have only yourself to blame.

As to this case, I agree with the review site. I'm sick of companies using trademarks as a way to silence people, whether it's an attempt to silence critics or whether it's an attempt to prevent people from selling your product by not allowing them to advertise what it is they're selling.

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Flame

wasting the court's time

this is akin to companies trying to stop people from relating facts about the company just because it may be bad PR. well... if the company didn't screw up, it wouldn't have bad PR. sux to be them. Leave the review site alone.

I think companies like this should be fined for wasting the court's time.

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Stop

@Chris C

You've obviously never had any physical deformity, or need for cosmetic correction due to accidental damage. I know several people who HAVE, and it's usually stressful enough without having to undergo the surgery to repair the problem in the first place, let alone the pressure that all surgeons put you under to "sign, sign, sign" their waver.

No, I'm not saying the person that posted that comment had such a need - I don't know, and neither do you.

But on to the point raise by the article itself, I have to agree. If someone has a negative experience to share, as long as it is truthful, there is no possible way to squash it other than to fix the damn problem in the first place.

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Alert

How to get lots of bad PR for big money

"Lifestyle Lift's lawsuit claims that because Realself.com contains its trademark as well as advertising for other plastic surgery products and procedures, consumers could be confused and think that Lifestyle Lift was a part of Realself."

In light of http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/03/07/yahoo_links_ruling_high_court/ I suspect that the only things Lifestyle Lift is going to accomplish here are (1) spending a lot of money on lawyers and court costs, and (2) the Streisand effect.

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Joke

Stupid but rich lawyers

Stupid but rich lawyers , with even dumber clients being taken to the cleaners , for too simply the legal wankers involved are ignoring the complete history of the Supreme Court Rulings regarding all fair comment and free speech !

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So lemme see

rather than restricting its bad press to a minority of people who visit realself, the claimant seeks to inform a much larger audience of its bad name!

It's just demonstrated to me that it is in fact absolutely incompetent at its core business, which is, 'improving appearances'

Couldn't make it up

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Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Signing consent forms in a hurry

Trust me, there are times when one *must*... I signed one a couple of months ago with my blood pressure at 80 over 50 for an emergency operation to remove my spleen. Had I not had the surgery, I would not be posting this. Took me two, maybe three seconds to decide to sign.

Though I rather incline to agree that there is not this same sense of urgency in elective surgery - one really should be in a position to read the small print.

(Apropos of disclaimers - I recall a proposal that disclaimers should be stopped and replaced by insurance payments. The patient may buy as much or as little insurance as they like - the catch being that the premiums are set by the insurance company on the surgeon's record: good surgeon, nice low premiums; bad surgeon, oh dear...)

Paris because I'm sure she's consented more than once.

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re: AC

You're right, I've never had a physical deformity that requires surgery. I feel fortunate for that. I sympathize with those who do. However, when you're allowing someone to take a scalpel to any part of your body, you must have complete trust in them. Any reputable surgeon will go over everything with you in as much detail as you need, and give you ample time to contemplate your decision and read all the necessary paperwork. Any surgeon who tries to rush you through it simply cannot be trusted. And if you can't trust them, why are you putting your life in their hands?

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@ Chris C

It's not just about knowing the possible consequences, but the likelyhood of those consequences that's important.

If the company says there is a 1% chance of something happening and you accept that risk but later find out that in 50% of cases that particular something happens, then you've got every right to complain.

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Bronze badge

Stupid but rich lawyers? I think not!

Stupid but rich lawyers? I think not! Make that shrewd, greedy, amoral and soon to be even richer lawyers with stupid client and I will agree with you, though. The surgeon's lawyers are definitely not working Pro Bono or No Win No Fee. Whatever the outcome they get the money, and if they can stretch it out into appeals, then Bonus!

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