NEWS4 May 2010

Judge dismisses libel complaint over Gartner’s Magic Quadrant report

Legal North America

US— A district court judge has thrown out a claim for libel damages brought by an email software company angry at being described as a “niche” vendor in a Gartner research report.

ZL Technologies sued the analyst firm over its placement in the niche quadrant of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant reports, arguing that the description was derogatory because it would be “understood by technology purchasers as a warning… that ZL and the ZL products are not good choices for enterprise email archive applications”.

Gartner succeeded in securing a dismissal of ZL’s first complaint, arguing that its report constituted “non-actionable opinion” – however Judge Jeremy Fogel granted ZL leave to come back with an amended complaint.

In its second attempt at suing Gartner, ZL said it sought to clarify its contentions about the content of the Magic Quadrant report. It also alleged an “inherent conflict of interest” because of the business Gartner conducts with many of the firms it reviews.

However in his judgement yesterday, Judge Fogel said: “This court concluded previously that the alleged defamatory statements asserted in ZL’s original complaint were non-actionable opinions. The court now concludes that the additional facts alleged in the [amended complaint] are insufficient to transform these opinions into assertions of fact.”


1 Comment

14 years ago

A technicality for the court does not make the facts ZL stated in its well-done court submission untrue. I think everybody should ready it before talking about the magic quadrant again.

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