Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Admissibility of Blog Posts — Caselaw Split

From QVC, Inc. v. Your Vitamins, Inc., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76073 (D. Del. July 27, 2010):

[Footnote 19] The court need not definitively determine, therefore, whether blog posts should be deemed relevant and credible evidence (generally and, in this context, as evidence of consumer confusion) — an issue of first impression for this court. Blog posts such as those in this case may be more reliable than broad-based surveys, insofar as they represent direct feedback from consumers specifically interested in the product(s) at issue, although concerns regarding such posts' authenticity are not ill-founded. Courts have reached differing conclusions on the issue. Compare Blue Bell Creameries, L.P. v. Denali Co., LLC, Civ. No. 99-594, 2008 WL 2965655 at *5 & n.4 (S.D. Tex. July 31, 2008) (declining to admit blog entries as evidence of actual consumer confusion in a trademark infringement case stating that they "lack[ed] sufficient indicia of reliability" and "[n]othing is known about the persons who made the entries, about whether they are related in any way to either party or whether they are describing true events and impressions"); with Volkswagen AG v. Verdier Microbus and Camper, Inc., Civ. No. 09-231, 2009 WL 928130 at *4 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 3, 2009) (allowing internet postings and blogs "suggest[ing] that consumers believe the Verdier vehicle is a [Volkswagen] product" as evidence weighing in favor of actual consumer confusion). See also, gen., Victaulic Co. v. Tieman, 499 F.3d 227, 236 (3d Cir. 2007) (web pages must be authenticated before they can be admitted pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 902).

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