As intellectual property valuation experts, we have been asked to analyze the impact of negative statements about a business that were classified as either defamation or disparagement. Although the definitions differ, the financial and economic impact can be substantial and tends to have the greatest effect on the value of a company’s brand and reputation.
‘Defamation’ is defined as “the act of making untrue statements about another that damages his/her reputation. If the defamatory statement is printed or broadcast over the media it is libel and, if only oral, it is slander” (www.dictionary.law.com). ‘Disparage’ is defined as “to speak of or treat slightingly; to bring reproach or discredit upon, lower the estimation of” (www.dictionary.reference.com).
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