Apr 23, 2010
MonaVie Resolves Lawsuit with Harpo, Inc. and Dr. Oz
Dear MonaVie Family,
This past August, Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Mehmet Oz named MonaVie, along with over 40 other parties, in a legal complaint regarding the unauthorized use of Ms. Winfrey's and Dr. Oz's names, images and trademarks in advertising for various products, including açai products. The unauthorized use did appear on some unapproved MonaVie distributor websites and social networking sites. I'm pleased to let everyone know that the claims made against MonaVie in this legal complaint have been amicably resolved.
As background, the lawsuit was filed against more than 40 companies that were said to have used Ms. Winfrey's and Dr. Oz's names, trademarks and images to promote their products, including açai products. In addition to making improper and illegal health claims—from cancer cures to promises of weight loss—these companies frequently offer trials of açai products, gather consumer credit card information, and then bill the customer shipping and handling fees to which they had not agreed.
At MonaVie we do not condone the unauthorized use of Oprah Winfrey's and Dr Oz's names, images, and trademarks and regret that consumers were misled in any way by others. As a first time player in the açai nutritional beverage industry, we too have experienced distress at seeing our trademarks and licenses used in an attempt to deceive the consumer.
Although many television, entertainment, and heath personalities have advocated for the health benefits of the açai berry, at no time did Ms. Winfrey or Dr. Oz endorse our products. Any claim that they have is false and will not be tolerated. With interest in the açai berry at an all-time high, we are totally committed to protecting consumers and alerting them to beware of false advertising regarding the açai berry—this is the MonaVie Promise.
It is important for you to know that, at MonaVie, we are committed to protecting Ms. Winfrey and Dr. Oz's rights, as well as the interests of the consumer. As such, we will take every reasonable action to prevent the misuse of Ms. Winfrey's and Dr. Oz's names, images, and trademarks, which includes the unauthorized use of their names, images, trademarks, or logos on any independent distributor website, social media page, printed piece, etc., for MonaVie products. To be clear, any such infringing use is prohibited. Should we find that an independent distributor has violated this policy, that distributor will be subject to steep penalties including but not limited to the withholding of commissions. In connection with the resolution of the claims, MonaVie has agreed to enter into a stipulated court approved injunction that addresses the issues I have discussed in this letter. For your viewing, a copy of that agreed upon injunction will be posted at www.monaviemediacenter.com.
As president of this company, I want you to know that we're committed to the success of each of your businesses. We credit you—the greatest distributors in the history of direct selling—for MonaVie's success. The exceptional manner in which you are conducting your businesses sets us apart from others within the industry, and together we are changing the world—one bottle and relationship at a time.
President and Chief Operating Officer, MonaVie