One may say that the court of public opinion has found its voice
in the rise of social media, and its influence should not be
underestimated. In addition to legal, business and other strategic
considerations, companies seeking to protect and enforce their
rights should also consider how their actions will be viewed by
their customers, potential customers and the public at large.
This difficult lesson was learned recently by a
Québec-based company. After years of litigation, and despite
a successful appeal to the Québec Court of Appeal
overturning a monetary award, Lassonde Industries Inc. is reported
to have agreed to compensate the defendant financially following a
public outcry on Facebook and Twitter related to Lassonde
Industries' litigation practices.
The defendant's statement, as quoted in the media, is
telling of the risk to companies who become the focus of a negative
social media campaign. "I spent seven years fighting this
[litigation], and within basically 48 hours, because of the
outpouring of support, it was resolved."
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