At the Federal Trade Commission’s request, a federal court has found that the FTC is likely to prevail in its case against World Patent Marketing, an invention-promotion scheme that allegedly deceived consumers through misrepresentations about its success and the services it provided, and suppressed complaints about the company by threatening dissatisfied customers.
“The record supports a preliminary finding that [the] defendants devised a fraudulent scheme to use consumer funds to enrich themselves,” U.S. District Court Judge Darrin P. Gayles wrote in an order issuing a preliminary injunction that will apply during litigation in which the FTC seeks to permanently stop the defendants’ practices and return money to consumers.
The court temporarily halted the scheme in March, when the FTC filed a complaint alleging that the defendants charged consumers thousands of dollars to patent and market their inventions based on bogus “success stories,” and never delivered what they promised. Instead, many customers ended up in debt or lost their life savings.
Under the preliminary injunction issued on August 16, 2017, the defendants are prohibited from making misrepresentations to induce people to purchase products or services, and from threatening anyone who complains about them, including asking people to withdraw negative comments. The judge continued the existing asset freeze indefinitely, and converted the court-appointed receiver from temporary to permanent.
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Colleen B. Robbins