AUG 27 2016
Nutrivita and Its Related Companies Are Accused Of Unfair Competition and False Advertising In the Vietnamese Marketplace
August 26, 2016 03:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–VBS Distribution Inc. (VBS), maker of dietary supplements for the Vietnamese market including its popular joint pain relief product JN-7 Best, has filed a lawsuit against Nutrivita Laboratories (Nutrivita), it was announced today by William Levin, VBS’s lead trial attorney, of Laguna Beach’s Levin & Dicterow.
VBS’s action, which was also filed yesterday on behalf of VBS Television, Inc., alleges unfair competition, false advertising, theft of trade secrets, trade dress infringement, and anti-trust and restraint of trade, all under federal and California law, and copyright infringement and related state claims. The lawsuit is based on VBS’s allegations of an ongoing, intentional, and repeated pattern of unfair competition, false advertising and other wrongful acts by Nutrivita and its related companies, Nutrivita, Inc., US Doctors’ Clinical, Inc., Robinson Pharma Inc., and KVLA, Inc. Individuals Tuong Nguyen, claimed to be the driving force and controller of the related companies, his wife Jenny Do, and Tram Ho, former co-host for VBS’s popular television show, Fight Price on TV, are also named as co-defendants in the lawsuit.
The case is VBS Distribution Inc. and VBS Television Inc. V. Nutrivita Laboratories, Inc. et al, case no. 8:16-cv-01553-JVS-DFM, United States District Court Central District of California, US District Judge James V. Selna and Magistrate Judge Douglas F. McCormick.
VBS Distribution, Inc., a leading distributor of dietary supplements in the Vietnamese community, was founded in 2008 by inventor and local businessman Joseph Nguyen. The company launched JN-7 Best, a line of joint pain relief supplement products, in 2012. A fast-working tablet containing no animal products, unlike competitor Nutrivita’s Arthro-7 competitive product, JN-7 Best was immediately successful.
Soon after the introduction of JN-7 Best, Nutrivita filed a lawsuit in 2013 claiming copyright infringement and other violations over its own product Arthro-7. According to Levin, “the Court determined in February 2016 that VBS was the prevailing party in that lawsuit after Nutrivita had finally dismissed its entire case with prejudice shortly before the scheduled trial, holding that Nutrivita’s copyright claims were groundless. VBS claims this is just one example of an overall pattern of unfair competition against it.”
“Since the old case, as highlighted in the new suit, VBS has been subjected to continuing blatant acts of unfair competition and false advertising by the owner of Nutrivita and all of his related companies,” said Levin. “These include the launching in June 2016 of a live jewelry auction television show largely copied from VBS’s very popular Fight Price on TV show, with the same combination of its distinctive elements, and taking away the show’s co-host, other employees, and even its vendors.”
The new lawsuit includes claims for substantial damages allegedly caused by the copied television show, and false and misleading statements about the defendants’ Arthro-7 products, such as allegations that the more than 8 million units claimed of having been sold by Nutrivita are actually far less, the product claims of being “100 percent from natural medical herbals” when it actually contains animal products, and endorsements by “doctors” and “surgeons” who, without disclosure, are being paid to endorse the products and are not medical doctors.
“VBS is taking this action because its business has been greatly damaged as a result of the defendants’ attempts to illegally stifle competition, through the false and deceptive claims about its own products, and the other unfair and illegal business practices,” said Levin.
“VBS is seeking this decision because their actions are unfair to it, and to the consuming public. Our client’s view is that the public is purchasing the Arthro-7 competing products based on deliberately false and misleading claims being made about them by Nutrivita and its related companies. People have also complained to VBS about the new copied auction show, and are being confused by it also,” Levin said.
ABOUT VBS DISTRIBUTION AND VBS TELEVISION
VBS Distribution Inc. was founded in 2008 by local businessman and philanthropist Joseph Nguyen. Headquartered in Los Angeles, VBS has become a leading distributor of dietary supplements and health products to the Vietnamese and Southeast Asian markets of Southern California. The VBS television network is the largest Vietnamese TV Network in the world. For more information, visit www.vbsdistribution.com and www.vbstelevision.com, or www.lagunaip.com.
VBS Public Relations
Peter Bylsma, 310-795-8532
Levin & Dicterow
William E. Levin, 949-613-5131