LazyManandMoney.com is one of the better personal finance blogsites out there -- and it recently had the nerve to do a post skeptical of a multilevel marketing company called MonaVie and its $1.70-per-ounce juice.
Well, of course MonaVie wouldn't stand for that and responded by sending an e-mail to Domains By Proxy Inc, the hosting company for the Web site. Here are some excerpts (LazyManAndMoney was enough of a tough guy to reprint the e-mail on his blog):
As a network marketing company MonaVie does not permit its name to be used in any URL or email address and the company must take necessary action to protect its intellectual property. . . Your unauthorized use of MonaVie's federally registered trademarks amounts to an infringement of MonaVie's trademark rights. . . MonaVie wishes to settle this situation amicably and therefore, requests that you immediately cease the use of our trade name MonaVie.
I've seen quite a few dumb legal letters (a few of which were sent my way) but this is perhaps the dumbest. MonaVie's position appears to be that bloggers and media outlets don't have a right to write about the company because it owns the trademark to its own name. Can you imagine what havoc it would wreak on freedom of the press if this were actually a legitimate argument?
But of course it isn't -- and MonaVie may be stupid but it has to be smart enough to know that. The bet on MonaVie's part appears to have been that this independent blogger would scare easily at the sight of a nasty lawyer letter -- but they appear to have messed with the wrong guy.
Monavie thinks people don't have a right to criticize it