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ZO Skin Health Takes on Internet Diversion

Published April 4, 2013
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ZO Skin Health, Inc. has filed a comprehensive claim involving “big name distributors across the nation,” the company announced today.

"We have taken, and will continue to take, a very hard line against these opportunistic diverters and 3rd party Internet pirates in their veiled crime activities," said Jim Headley , CEO and president of ZO Skin Health, Inc. "Our top concern is the huge risk this illegal conduct poses to consumers and our loyal physician customers."

According to Headley, the company is "fiercely committed to protecting our reputation for high quality products crafted through years of research and cutting-edge science. Tracking black market dealers is expensive and difficult, however, it will not dissuade ZO Skin Health, Inc. from taking legal action against theses brandjackers to protect the consumer, the physician, and the brand."

In ZO Skin Health, Inc. vs. John Does 1-10 (Case No. 30-2013-00639976-CU-BC-CJC), which was filed March 27, 2013 in Orange County Superior Court, the company contends that it does not permit the sale of its products on unauthorized Internet sites including Amazon.com and eBay. Charging that some of its authorized distributors have violated the sales agreement, which clearly prohibits the resale of the product on the Internet, ZO Skin Health, Inc. demands removal of all products from the illegal Internet sites and seeks damages to be determined by the court.

To identify those responsible for violating the sales agreement with ZO Skin Health, Inc., subpoenas are being served on all unauthorized websites selling ZO products. To identify and locate the owners of these websites, the company has retained Cyber Investigation Services, a global firm specializing in cyber crimes and asset tracing and recovery. Through information gained from the subpoenas, once identified as the source of providing Internet retailers with ZO Skin Health, Inc. products, these individuals will be named as parties in breach of contract.

Concurrently, ZO Skin Health, Inc. has filed a trademark infringement suit against an Internet retailer in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi Eastern Division. The suit charges this unauthorized seller with selling ZO products including prescription products on the Internet through several websites, including eBay.com.The suit also cites false advertising, unfair competition, trademark dilution, tortious interference with business relationships, and tortious interference with contract.

"Over the last several years, the Internet has become inundated with discounted, medical-grade and even prescription products that companies sell directly to consumers without proper medical supervision or a prescription," said Dr. Zein Obagi, founder and Medical Director of ZO Skin Health, Inc. "Consumers should be aware of the importance of physician monitoring to avoid the needless side effects of self-medication abuse."

According to the company, it recently began adopting an undetectable coding system for several of its products, which successfully tracked the supply channels of agreement violators. Headley plans to implement it for all the company's products.

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