Takes No Prisoner Approach to Gray Market Diversion
IRVINE, Calif – April 3, 2013–ZO Skin Health, Inc., developer of medical grade and aesthetic skin health products available exclusively through contracted physicians, and with a zero-tolerance Internet policy on unauthorized sales, has filed a comprehensive claim involving big-name distributors across the nation.
“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,” says Jim Headley, CEO and President of ZO Skin Health, Inc. “Our top concern is the huge risk this illegal conduct poses to the consumer and our loyal physician customer.” Headley made it clear in earlier suits filed regarding unauthorized sales that 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, 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. Products can only be legally obtained from an authorized distributor. 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.
Dr. Bradley Calobrace of Calobrace Plastic Surgery Center in Louisville, Kentucky explains, “Any doctor would be alarmed if a patient self-prescribes and then purchases physician dispensed skincare products from the Internet. ZO® Medical is available exclusively through physicians because medical supervision is requisite to ensure proper use and patient satisfaction.” Each patient is evaluated to determine whether the use of the product is appropriate for them, “This critical step is bypassed when unauthorized Internet sales of medical-grade skin care products make their way to the consumer,” cautions Dr. Calobrace. “It is encouraging to see a company willing to fight hard in protecting what is at stake here.”
To identify those responsible for violating the sales agreement with ZO Skin Health, Inc., subpoenas will be 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 www.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,” says 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.”
Recently the company began adopting an undetectable coding system for several of its products, which successfully tracked the supply channels of agreement violators. Despite being a costly and arduous process, Headley plans to implement it for all the company’s products. “What Dr. Zein Obagi developed is invaluable. We are 100% committed to protecting these products,” he says.
This marks the third such suit filed by the company, which is vigilant in its goal to protect and monitor its product brand, trademark, and the unknowing public.
About ZO Skin Health, Inc.
ZO Skin Health, Inc. develops and delivers innovative skincare solutions that optimize skin health around the globe. Utilizing cutting-edge science and Dr. Zein Obagi’s extensive clinical experience creating treatments and regimens for healthy skin, ZO Skin Health, Inc. provides comprehensive skincare programs for physicians and their patients. Committed to advancing effective treatments for healthy skin, ZO Skin Health, Inc. supports physicians’ practices and patients through skin health seminars, clinical training, and a variety of educational programs. As a result, ZO Skin Health, Inc. is focused on providing products and protocols that bridge the gap between therapeutic treatments and daily care that allow patients to experience continuously healthy skin regardless of their age or unique skin condition. For more information, visit www.zoskinhealth.com.
About Zein Obagi, M.D.
Researcher, innovator, scientist, published author, lecturer and board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Zein Obagi has achieved international renown as a leading authority on skin rejuvenation. He is the ZO Skin Health, Inc. founder and medical director and is responsible for the development of new skincare treatments, protocols and products to achieve healthy skin.
Twenty years ago, Dr. Zein Obagi pioneered the concept of skin health and conceived of, and brought to market, a line of medical skincare products – the original Obagi Nu-Derm® System – that transformed aging skin. Dr. Obagi founded WorldWide Products, which produced and marketed the original Obagi Nu- Derm® System. At that time, Dr. Obagi merely intended to challenge the norms of traditional skin care. Instead he shattered the status quo. Today his ideas about skin health are no longer surprising; they have become mainstream. Subsequently WorldWide was purchased by Obagi Medical Products, Inc., a company with which Dr. Obagi no longer has any affiliation, but which retained his family name (Obagi®) as their trademark.
ZO Skin Health, Inc. and Dr. Obagi have no business relationship with Obagi Medical Products, and Obagi Medical Products does not sell or endorse using any ZO® product. “ZO” is a registered trademark of ZO Skin Health, Inc. “Obagi” and “Obagi Nu-Derm” are registered trademarks of Obagi Medical Products, Inc.