FTC v. QT, Inc.
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
October 31, 2007, Argued; January 3, 2008, Decided
[*860] EASTERBROOK, Chief Judge. WIRED Magazine recently put the Q-Ray Ionized Bracelet on its list of the top ten Snake-Oil Gadgets. See http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/ 2007/11/10-awesome-gadg.html.
[SEE [The "Gold Deluxe" Q-Ray Ionized Bracelet] IN ORIGINAL]
The "Gold Deluxe" Q-Ray Ionized Bracelet
The Federal Trade Commission has an even less honorable title for the bracelet's promotional campaign: fraud. In this action under 15 U.S.C. §§ 45(a), 52, 53, a magistrate judge, presiding by the parties' consent, concluded after a bench trial that the bracelet's promotion has been thoroughly dishonest. The court [**2] enjoined the promotional claims and required defendants to disgorge some $ 16 million (plus interest) for the FTC to distribute to consumers who have been taken in. 448 F. Supp. 2d 908 (N.D. Ill. 2006), modified in part by 472 F. Supp. 2d 990 (N.D. Ill. 2007).
According to the district court's findings, almost everything that defendants have said about the bracelet is false. Here are some highlights:
. Defendants promoted the bracelet as a miraculous cure for chronic pain, but it has no therapeutic effect.
. Defendants told consumers that claims of "immediate, significant or complete pain relief " had been "test-proven"; they hadn't.
. The bracelet does not emit "Q-Rays" (there are no such things) and is not ionized (the bracelet is an electric conductor, and any net charge dissipates swiftly). The bracelet's chief promoter chose these labels because they are simple and easily remembered--and because Polaroid Corp. blocked him from calling the bangle "polarized".
[*861] . The bracelet is touted as "enhancing the flow of bio-energy" or "balancing the flow of positive and negative energies"; these empty phrases have no connection to any medical or scientific effect. Every other claim made about [**3] the mechanism of the bracelet's therapeutic effect likewise is techno-babble.Read The Full CaseNot a Lexis Advance subscriber? Try it out for free.
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512 F.3d 858 *; 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 33 **; 2008-1 Trade Cas. (CCH) P75,991
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. QT, INC., Q-RAY COMPANY, BIO-METAL, INC., and QUE TE PARK, Defendants-Appellants.
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 03 C 3578. Morton Denlow, Magistrate Judge.
FTC v. QT, Inc., 472 F. Supp. 2d 990, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4256 (N.D. Ill., 2007)FTC v. QT, Inc., 448 F. Supp. 2d 908, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64768 (N.D. Ill., 2006)
Bracelet, placebo, Ionized, pain, consumers, therapeutic, customers
Antitrust & Trade Law, Consumer Protection, Deceptive & Unfair Trade Practices, Federal Trade Commission Act, False Advertising, US Federal Trade Commission, Torts, Procedural Matters, Multiple Defendants, Joint & Several Liability