US company's appeal in row with Russia's leading social network rejected
ST.PETERSBURG, July 23 (RAPSI) - The Thirteenth Commercial Court of Appeals rejected an appeal filed by the US Talk Fusion against the dismissal of the lawsuit aimed at the Russian VKontakte company and against self-employed businessman Igor Vulfovic.
VKontakte owns Russia's most popular social network of the same name, which hosts an audience of over 40 million users daily.
Talk Fusion claims that VKontakte blocked the accounts of several users who sold the company's products and that some posts on the VKontakte website are defamatory and damaging to Talk Fusion's business reputation, as they refer to it as a Ponzi scheme. The company also demands that the information posted on the social network by co-defendant Vulfovich, which Talk Fusion considers damaging to its business reputation, be deleted.
Talk Fusion seeks 9 million rubles ($290,980) from each defendant, for a total of 18 million rubles in damages.
The court rejected Talk Fusions appeal for procedural reasons, namely, the US company failed to produce evidence of having covered the necessary fees so that the trial could proceed. Should these violations be covered, a retrial may be in order by August 16.
Vulfovich's representative told RIA Novosti that a spokesperson for the US company said in court that technical letters sent to some users in response to their requests contained damaging information.
A representative of VKontakte told the court in May that they did not publish any defamatory information regarding Talk Fusion, but only replied to users who asked why Talk Fusion ads were blocked.
During the June 4 hearing, a VKontakte representative said these technical letters pointed to "elements of a financial pyramid" in the operations of Talk Fusion, but did not describe it as a Ponzi scheme.
Vulfovich's lawyer showed RIA Novosti his client's statement, according to which his account in the social network was hacked and damaging information was placed on it by unidentified individuals.
According to its website, Talk Fusion "connects you to the world with the latest cutting-edge video communication products," including social networking products.