Defending our community's right to share real experiences (Lifestyle Lift Lawsuit vs RealSelf)

Tom at RealSelf on 3 Mar 2008 at 10:00am

Today we responded to a Complaint made against RealSelf.com by Lifestyle Lift Holdings, a firm that markets the Lifestyle Lift.  The Lifestyle Lift is marketed as a "minor one hour" facial firming procedure.  Some patients who've had this procedure have shared on RealSelf.com both positive and negative experiences by writing Lifestyle lift reviews and adding over 1,000 comments to the RealSelf.com forum.

Complaint against RealSelf.com

In January, Lifestyle Lift Holdings filed a Complaint against RealSelf in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan asserting trademark infringement. We believe that their allegations are false and that their Complaint is a misuse of trademark protection law. It's our opinion that this lawsuit in an attempt to silence critics within our community.  Lifestyle Lift does not have the right to do so.

Our response

Today we filed an answer to their Complaint and responded with our own counter-complaint against Lifestyle Lift Holdings and Scientific Image Center Management, Inc., a company we believe is affiliated with Lifestyle Lift. We believe they have violated our terms of use by posing as patients posting reviews on our site, which is misleading and unfair to our community. These sort of fabricated posts threaten our community’s trust in us. We have no choice but to challenge these actions.

In filing the counter-complaint, we are seeking damages and asking the court to permanently enjoin Lifestyle Lift, Scientific Image Center Management, Inc., or their agents from posting comments on RealSelf.com.

What we're all about

RealSelf.com is a health & beauty community that's passionate about giving people a new way to discover which cosmetic surgery and beauty treatments are worth it and which are not.  In addition to the Lifestyle Lift, consumers have shared their experiences with over 150 cosmetic treatments and cosmetic surgery procedures such as:

Our community's point of view: what's worth it? 

Rating whether something was worth it is our community's way of relaying their judgment and opinion to whether a product or service was worth the cost and time, and in some cases, the emotional, societal and physical risks. On top of this, sharing of personal experiences tell a powerful story about cosmetic treatments and procedures and reveal patterns by many individuals such as pain, potential side-effects, and cost (e.g. "how much does Botox cost?").  Prior to RealSelf.com this information was hard to find and trust.

Professionals share expertise in their own voice

Another defining element of RealSelf.com is that we offer consumers one convenient place to find tips and opinions posted by medical and beauty professionals who get a free profile and unbiased way to participate in the community. Professionals who've joined up represent a diverse set of expertise and specialties including:

I encourage you to join our community, add your opinion, and get connected with fellow beauty enthusiasts. 

UPDATE:  5/12/08  - this matter was settled by the parties by mutually agreeable terms.