At issue in this matter is whether Cornell Code Corporation (Cornell) has a viable cause of action against Stanford Engineering, Inc. (“Stanford”) for defamation and/or predatory business practices where Stanford has created an advertising campaign claiming that Cornell has its customers “test” its software through use, rather than testing it prior to sales.

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Though untrue, Cornell is losing sales to its competitor, Stanford.A claim for defamation, or for wrongfully harming one’s reputation, requires the following elements: 1) a false statement, 2) that was understood to be about a claimant, and which in fact resulted in harm to the claimant, and 3) that such false statement was published to a third party as with respect to the claimant (Cross, Miller; 2015; p.282). With respect to tortious business interference, a predatory business practice, a business is prohibited from unreasonably interfering with another company’s business, while attempting to capture a greater share of the market” (Cross, Miller; 2015; p.292).

Given the facts as stated, presuming that Cornell does indeed pre-test its software before releasing for sales, Cornell most likely has a viable claim for defamation or wrongful harm to its reputation as a result of Stanford’s actions. The allegations by Stanford set forth in the ad were clearly intended to be about Cornell, have resulted in a loss of market share for Cornell and in favor of Stanford, and were obviously public and constitute publication to a third party. As such, Cornell would likely prevail on a defamation claim.

Likewise, with the business interference claim, making defamatory statements about a competing business, which include falsehoods publicized to third parties, and which is detrimental to the claimant’s market share, clearly constitute such a tortious action, and Cornell is again likely to prevail.