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-   -   Wilson Class Action Lawsuit (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=457592)

g_desilva 03-14-2013 04:52 AM

Wilson Class Action Lawsuit
 
Have any of you heard about this?? I just came across this a few days ago...

http://www.topclassactions.com/lawsu...action-lawsuit

Bartelby 03-14-2013 05:06 AM

I can't see them winning this or, if they do, surely the payout would be trivial and the case would simply result in some more product disclaimers.

Moz 03-14-2013 05:09 AM

What sort of grown adult is cretinous enough to buy a racket on the basis that they believe a professional uses it?

corners 03-14-2013 06:43 AM

A similar suit was brought against Nike when they claimed Tiger was using a golf ball that they sold but he was really using a ball that couldn't be purchased. The plaintiffs won that case and Nike eventually released the special Tiger-only ball for public consumption.

People have wondered when this would happen in tennis for a while. Frankly, with the Nike-Tiger case on the books the racquet companies have been walking on thin ice with their paintjob shenanigans and they know it. It will be interesting to see if this case goes anywhere. The key will be proving that Federer currently uses an older model under a new paintjob. They must have some evidence of this otherwise I don't think they would take it to court. It would be cool if they bring sawed open racquets and stuff into the court room. :)

A possible outcome of this could be that Wilson will start selling Federer's actual racquet again. (Again, because many people feel that the K90 was, in fact, the frame that he really uses. When they brought out the K version they were responding to some public outcry that players couldn't buy Fed's real racquet. So they said, well, here you go. Then, with the BLX, they changed the layup completely - removing kevlar and adding basalt.)

slowfox 03-14-2013 07:40 AM

Paintjobs are like push-up bras. I'm filing a class action lawsuit against my exes... :)

vsbabolat 03-14-2013 08:10 AM

The article was very badly written. I can only hope the complaint that was filed is better. It's going to be a tough case against Wilson. It would have been a easier case against Babolat with the Cortex being painted on Nadal's original AeroPro Drive or Djokovic's racquet that is a completely different mold, head size, and head shape that is sold. Those things are very easy to show, prove, and visually has a impact.

OnyxZ28 03-14-2013 08:16 AM

Fascinating. If anyone is curious, I uploaded the complaint to Scribd:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/130368363/...ting-Goods-Inc

syke 03-14-2013 08:44 AM

It's about time...

sureshs 03-14-2013 08:51 AM

Bravo. This was badly needed. The point is not about the 100 bucks or whether she will play like Federer, as people mistakenly think, but about exposing fraud. Arguing that she should have known Fed does not use the frame is bogus. The company is relying on the thousands of people who believe precisely this. I have seen many juniors walk in with their parents into the pro shop pointing out "Federer's racket" and "Nadal racket."

After all the threads about this issue on TW, it is great that finally someone has filed a lawsuit. Even if they lose, the public awareness will be awakened. It is one thing to claim a frame is used by Fed if it customized later - the frame is still the same. But it is quite a different matter to lie when the frame being used is an older model, and the whole advertisement revolves around how the new version is better.

Let us see how long this thread will remain, because I bet there is going to lot of pressure exerted.

AREYOUOUTOFYOURVULCANMIND 03-14-2013 09:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sureshs (Post 7273903)
Bravo. This was badly needed. The point is not about the 100 bucks or whether she will play like Federer, as people mistakenly think, but about exposing fraud. Arguing that she should have known Fed does not use the frame is bogus. The company is relying on the thousands of people who believe precisely this. I have seen many juniors walk in with their parents into the pro shop pointing out "Federer's racket" and "Nadal racket."

After all the threads about this issue on TW, it is great that finally someone has filed a lawsuit. Even if they lose, the public awareness will be awakened. It is one thing to claim a frame is used by Fed if it customized later - the frame is still the same. But it is quite a different matter to lie when the frame being used is an older model, and the whole advertisement revolves around how the new version is better.

Let us see how long this thread will remain, because I bet there is going to lot of pressure exerted.

That's ridiculous. Kids and juniors only want the aesthetic visual of their favourite pro's racquet. I doubt they care about whether or not the swingweight or composition of the racquet is identical to the one used on tour.
Racquet companies should have the right to make new products to make new profits and pros should have the right to use a racquet they're comfortable with. The consumer does not have reason to complain about this unless it negatively affects them directly.

Bartelby 03-14-2013 09:11 AM

They associate the racquet with Federer and that association is what sells the racquets.

So if they've gone too far in some advertising they deserve to be chastised but this won't alter the fact that the racquet will sell based on this association regardless of whether the fine print says that it is a version of what he uses.

Rabbit 03-14-2013 09:24 AM

So, worst case, Wilson sells the exact frame that Federer uses and sells two

sureshs 03-14-2013 09:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AREYOUOUTOFYOURVULCANMIND (Post 7273932)
That's ridiculous. Kids and juniors only want the aesthetic visual of their favourite pro's racquet. I doubt they care about whether or not the swingweight or composition of the racquet is identical to the one used on tour.
Racquet companies should have the right to make new products to make new profits and pros should have the right to use a racquet they're comfortable with. The consumer does not have reason to complain about this unless it negatively affects them directly.

It is a question of false advertising. If you think that it is a question of making new products or using them, then I don't wish to discuss any further with you, because you will not get it. No one has prevented Wilson from making a new frame.

Whether the cheating rises to the level of negatively affecting the customer is up to a judge or jury to decide. I recall that either Domino or Pizza Hut went after Papa Johns for claiming that they used the "best ingredients." They had to change it to "better ingredients." There is a huge double standard wrt companies. Apparently a company can claim that people are stupid enough to believe that "best ingredient" meant the best in the world from an objective standpoint. If so, a person can certainly claim that marketing a new frame by lying that Fed uses it is knowing deception. The business world cannot have it both ways.

Let us see.

bluetrain4 03-14-2013 09:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by corners (Post 7273644)
A similar suit was brought against Nike when they claimed Tiger was using a golf ball that they sold but he was really using a ball that couldn't be purchased. The plaintiffs won that case and Nike eventually released the special Tiger-only ball for public consumption.

People have wondered when this would happen in tennis for a while. Frankly, with the Nike-Tiger case on the books the racquet companies have been walking on thin ice with their paintjob shenanigans and they know it. It will be interesting to see if this case goes anywhere. The key will be proving that Federer currently uses an older model under a new paintjob. They must have some evidence of this otherwise I don't think they would take it to court. It would be cool if they bring sawed open racquets and stuff into the court room. :)

A possible outcome of this could be that Wilson will start selling Federer's actual racquet again. (Again, because many people feel that the K90 was, in fact, the frame that he really uses. When they brought out the K version they were responding to some public outcry that players couldn't buy Fed's real racquet. So they said, well, here you go. Then, with the BLX, they changed the layup completely - removing kevlar and adding basalt.)

I'm assuming that there has to be very specific marketing practices at issue. Clearly, it wouldn't be enough it Fed uses a frame that looks like the BLX 90 or whatever on TW, but that's it. If the public is just filling in the gaps - "That's the frame Fed uses" without more from Wilson, then there isn't any basis for a lawsuit.

But, obviously it's different if the frames are stamped with Fed's signature (like my Pure Drive Roddick) or there are advertisements/promotional spots stating that Fed uses this frame and it's available to you at TW.

I never understood why players don't just promote a "line" of frames. "I'm Roger Federer, 17-time major winner, and I play BLX [model unspecified]. Wilson has created a line of superior frames for every level of player. Including you! Give BLX a try."

sureshs 03-14-2013 09:45 AM

I expect a whole lot of people from this forum will be called upon as expert witnesses.

Can someone tell me how much I can charge for being an expert witness? Is it by the hour? Will the party pay for my travel and lodging expenses for testifying?

Breakpoint will be the first to be called

corners 03-14-2013 12:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bluetrain4 (Post 7273996)
I'm assuming that there has to be very specific marketing practices at issue. Clearly, it wouldn't be enough it Fed uses a frame that looks like the BLX 90 or whatever on TW, but that's it. If the public is just filling in the gaps - "That's the frame Fed uses" without more from Wilson, then there isn't any basis for a lawsuit.

But, obviously it's different if the frames are stamped with Fed's signature (like my Pure Drive Roddick) or there are advertisements/promotional spots stating that Fed uses this frame and it's available to you at TW.

I never understood why players don't just promote a "line" of frames. "I'm Roger Federer, 17-time major winner, and I play BLX [model unspecified]. Wilson has created a line of superior frames for every level of player. Including you! Give BLX a try."

Yeah, that would be a better strategy, and legally safe. Don't know why they don't do it.

This is all interesting to me because I wrote Wilson when they first came out with the BLX model, the black and red one, and asked whether the new racquet still featured the same construction as the K version, which Wilson claimed was Fed's real racquet. The reply I got was unsatisfying, completely ignoring both direction questions about 1) braided construction and 2) Kevlar. The answered only with a quote from their marketing material, something about BLX racquets using graphite with basalt fibers, making one of the most advanced composites in the industry, or some such. I concluded at the time that they had abandoned the braided construction used for all prior versions of the Pro Staff and Tour 90 series, and that they had dropped the Kevlar. No longer a Pro Staff frame, and it didn't play like it either. The newest version of the Tour 90 is braided, according to their catalogs, but those material do not mention Kevlar.

I wonder if Wilson will try and buy FabFed's collection before they get into the plantiff's hands.

West Coast Ace 03-14-2013 01:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rabbit (Post 7273967)
So, worst case, Wilson sells the exact frame that Federer uses and sells two

I doubt it. @Bartleby nailed it - Wilson will just have to add some weasel words - that everyone with an IQ north of Forrest Gump - already knows. 'Based on', 'inspired by',...

I'm still not sure they will lose. Not sure how the plaintiff was damaged. Since he can't get his hand on a real Fed racket, how can he prove his game suffered?

I want to know if his lawyer will have the stones to make Fed show up and testify. Can you imagine the scene at the courthouse? :)

db10s 03-14-2013 02:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sureshs (Post 7274012)
I expect a whole lot of people from this forum will be called upon as expert witnesses.

Can someone tell me how much I can charge for being an expert witness? Is it by the hour? Will the party pay for my travel and lodging expenses for testifying?

Breakpoint will be the first to be called

Will "vsbabolat" please come to the witness stand... HAHA.

But this lawsuit is needed; if you read the comments on it, there is mention of "some tennis forums"...

But it would be easier to prove that Nadal is using an old APD, and Djokovic is using a completely different frame.

Bobby Jr 03-14-2013 02:15 PM

Attn Mods. Why was my earlier post on this topic deleted?

Nothing I posted was inaccurate or substantially different to other posts above. Nor was it it information which could in any way cause embarrassment to the TW business or issues with any of their suppliers.

So, again - rephrased to carefully consider any possibility of being misconstrued as something it's not.

There seems to be an odd, seeming, error in the explanation of the class action. It says (ignoring the misnaming of the frame part) "..she bought a Wilson ... which sells for over $100, based on false advertisements .... when in truth he uses a discontinued older model that is much less expensive."

Can you really complain about the comparative price of discontinued frames which, generally - as the name clearly implies, are unavailable?

See the conundrum here? Generally you can't buy discontinued frames via normal Wilson retailers - Wilson don't market or supply discontinued models - that's sort of what being discontinued entails.

Left-over stock is almost universally (with most consumer goods) sold cheaper than the current version of something. I'm not sure that would form the basis of a systematic deception which would warrant a class action.

movdqa 03-14-2013 02:16 PM

There are a bunch of frames that Wilson sells that have Federer's picture on them. Same thing with Serena. I don't recall whether or not they have their signatures or not but it's pretty clear that Federer doesn't play with all of those frames.


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