When consumers are upset with certain companies, they will setup their own websites that bashes on the companies. Upset with the negative publicity, companies usually try to send their lawyers after these websites but end up losing the cases often.
It got to the point where William Pecau, partner of Steptoe & Johnson called online gripers “self-righteous narcissists with time on their hands.” And then he added “shutting down a gripe site generally is not easy, often cannot be done, and often is counterproductive.” These websites generally don’t violate trademark laws because the websites don’t cause any consumer confusion over who runs the websites.
But now Wally World is making an attempt to have the website www.walmartworkerscanada.ca taken down. Wal-Mart filed an injunction in the Quebec Superior Court for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union to have their website taken down. Wal-Mart does not want them to use the terms Walmart or Wal-Mart and to stop using certain expression. For example, they are using an expression that says “Union for Walmart Workers” and “Get Respect. Live Better.” which is a play on Wal-Mart’s own slogan: “Save Money. Live Better.”
UFCW President Wayne Hanley said “This injunction request is an over the top assault on effective freedom of speech. . . It?s a kneejerk response by Walmart to the idea of its employees trying to understand their options as workers, and trying to share experiences with other ?associates.?”
This just further damages Wal-Mart’s online reputation.
[via TechDirt/Sam Trosow]