Massey Law Firm PLLC

What is commercial disparagement?

When you work to build your business, it can be frustrating when someone can undermine your profitability with a few negligent words. If those words are, essentially, a smear campaign with no basis in fact, you may wonder what recourse you have to not only combat this issue, but recover damages from economic losses caused by a person, persons or entity making disparaging remarks about your business. So what are your options to pursue this in Texas courts?

You may have the potential to bring a case for commercial disparagement, also known as business disparagement. Disparagement is not to be confused with defamation; defamation involves affecting your reputation. Disparagement involves having a substantial economic impact on your business through derogatory marks.

A Texas court case described on discusses what is involved in a business disparagement case in the example of Intel Corporation v. Intel Logistics. Business disparagement requires that someone have published disparaging remarks that are both malicious in intent and provably false. The remarks must not be privileged in nature, and you must be able to prove that they caused "special damages" to your business.

"Special damages" generally means that you suffered a loss of business because of these remarks. For instance, if a competitor deliberately spreads information that your products are tainted when they are not, and you see a loss of business because of this, it could be considered business disparagement in which you may pursue your competitor for damages.

This blog post has been an information reference only, and should not be misconstrued as legal advice.


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Massey Law Firm PLLC
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