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. 

Comments (6)

Good going Real Self! You should have got an award but at least we don't have censorship. Thanks to your community, I have avoided another potentially bad cosmetic procedure experience. I have had both good and bad experiences and your website is truly a wonderful community of people including doctors who share the real story as these procedures are huge decision and it is hard to know who to trust and what to believe with all the fancy brochures and advertising. I am very appreciative of the doctors and people who share their expertise and pictures as well. I hope more people will feel safe to do so as pictures don't lie. (Of course, unless they are touched up) and I had a doctor who did that with my before and after IPL on my hands...he changed the tone of the colors so it would look better than it really did.
Reply
Good Going Real Self! I am so glad that you won and I only wish that the judge had awarded you compensation for having to deal with this Holier Than Thou group! Chrystal Eckes.
Reply
Good for you Realself, I find this website to be of great importance and hope it will continue to help the many, many people find answers they might not find anywehre else on the web, from "real people" to "real people"....keep up the good work and glad you settled with those scammers of Lifestyle Lift...God knows how many more people would have been adversely affected by this horrible procedure if not for Realself WIWI! JoJo
Reply
Bravo RealSelf! No company should be allowed to twist the law in order to prevent the public from accessing information.
Reply
I believe real experiences are extremely important to better inform the public of where one can find real solutions to problem and aging skin. I also feel it is important as a place to find those great doctors and products that can really offer true benefits. I think any person or profession who would want to stop people from expressing their experiences and giving consumers a detailed review of the doctors and products they have used is trying to hide something.
Reply
I hope that they could be sued for knowingly filing false lawsuits. Anyone can use the name of a product for reference or review and certainly their lawyers know this. Come on judge! Toss this lawsuit with prejudice and award legal fees to Realself.com
Reply