Evolv Health now getting sued over misuse of M.D. Anderson trademark

by louabbott on November 24, 2009

 
On September 9th, we posted the article called “We Don’t Recommend You Drink the Water …” that revealed the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center’s concerns that Evolv Health’s use of their name would imply an endorsement.

At that time, they issued a statement to clarify their position:

M. D. Anderson does not have any involvement with the company, the product is not produced by M. D. Anderson, and M. D. Anderson does not endorse the product or recommend its use.

Evidently Evolv did not take the hint and now, the University of  Texas’ MD Anderson has filed suit in Federal court.  According to the article published by The Courthouse News Service on November 19th titled  “‘Evolv’ Water Is Snake Oil, Cancer Center Says,” …

The University of Texas wants an injunction, costs, and damages for trademark violations. It is represented by John Rawls with Bracewell and Giuliani.

A much more complete discussion of the lawsuit, issues and the testing that Evolv claims supports their product, was published at ScienceBlogs.com titled “The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center takes legal action against Evolv water.”  Here are a few of the pertinent excerpts:

In September we posted “M.D. Anderson name misused in Evolv nutraceutical water advertising,” detailing the not-exactly-truthful claim by a multilevel marketing company that their bottled water product was “tested” by one of North America’s premier teaching and research hospitals.  …..

However, there’s a much more serious issue going on in this case: according to the official complaint filed against the companies by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System (PDF here from Courthouse News) M.D. Anderson and The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center are registered US trademarks. …..

According to item 25 in the complaint, a more official and stern request to the manufacturers followed on 4 November and “demanded that the defendants cease using the M.D Anderson Marks.” Defendants, however, refused to comply with UT’s demands.”

Incidentally, the complaint notes in item 24 that the defendants attempted to obtain from the University of Texas an exclusive, world-wide, royalty-free license to use the M.D. Anderson Marks in relation to the Evolv water beverage” after the initial objections of the cancer center

(Not listed in the complaint was what I suspect was M.D. Anderson’s likely response: “What, are you people high or something?”)

Wilonsky notes:

Far as the UT Board of Regents is concerned, Evolv’s doing nothing more than using M.D. Anderson’s name and rep to build a “pyramid,” which is why it’s taking Evolv to court for trademark violation and trademark dilution and damages.

So what did investigators at M.D. Anderson actually test for anyway?

But there is one interesting sidenote to this case: some of the in vitro testing results of the HealtH2O water are posted on the “Archaea Active” website. The complete report with names and dates isn’t posted and there is no assurance that what is there is verified by whoever conducted the studies. But here’s my interpretation of the available information. (I’ve retained a screenshot in case it disappears)

The water was apparently tested against A549 small cell lung carcinoma and RBL1 rat basophilic leukemia cells for suppression of arachadonic acid-stimulated release of pro-inflammatory lipids such as prostaglandin E2 and leukotriene B4.

At first glance of the data presented, it might appear that the water does actually have an effect on suppressing bioactive lipid production at so-called 1X, 0.5X, and 0.25X water concentrations (no standard deviations or indication of replicates, though). But what this appears to mean is that the cells were removed from culture conditions and exposed to straight water and then 50% and 25% water in culture medium. These no-salt or low-salt conditions would obviously kill the cells by hypotonic lysis during what appears to be a 2 hr incubation period; there do not appear to be corresponding controls to correct for this activity.

What a mess.

The rest of the data on endogenous release of PGE2 and leukotrienes are a bigger mess, with the water appearing to even increase production at some concentrations, and no apparent concentration-response trend.

Again, the full report has not been released by M.D. Anderson and there’s no assurance that what is on the Archaea Active website is authentic. However, it might look like official gobbledygook to a non-scientific reader that demonstrates some activity of the water when, in fact, these appear to be uncontrolled and uninterpretable experiments.

Well, you can draw your own conclusions about the value of Evolv water.  I am sure not smart enough to know what the heck those tests even measured.

Trey White’s (founder and chairman of the board of Evolv) comments are worth reading on the matter can be read at the Evolve Health blog site for a balanced perspective.

My beef?  The multilevel marketing industry has earned such a bad reputation over the years for exaggerating almost everything.  The only way that will change is if we, in the industry, stop it!

White says this in his comments in the blog post:

We launched our product and have made it clear that neither testing facility endorses our product.

In this case with Evolv, I happened to be on an early conference call in which one of the top leaders made a big deal out the M.D. Anderson “endorsement” of the Evolv water.  Trey White was also on the call.  I was impressed at that point.  In fact, that “endorsement” seemed to me to be the biggest thing that Evolv had going for them.  It made me more interested in reading more of the science and possibly buying the product for my own use.

See how exaggerations, even misstatements can come back to haunt us?

Folks, if the truth isn’t good enough to build your business or sell your product, please find an MLM opportunity where it is.  They do exist.

Also, see our overview at Evolv Health MLM: Facts, News, and Reviews

Evolv Health MLM: Facts, News, and Reviews

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

charles wilson May 20, 2012 at 10:24 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I dislike these type of articles because they have made themselves of ill effect because every article I have seen claiming to be making you aware of some truth about a MLM company is always negative in the end. They give whhat seems to be some sort of balanced info then, sum up there story saying the company is a scam/bad stay away etc… I have not seen one of these so called monitor stories be positive and some if not many of the MLM companies are good. So, it appears they are writing to build there own name, establish themselves as some kinda of SME which makes me think that they are just as mucch if not more of a scam than the so called companies that they write about are This is just my opinion, my view point.

Here’s a suggestion writers, write some stories about good MLM compannies ones your not getting paid by. You will be very unique and garner more readers.

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Soapboxmom November 12, 2010 at 1:02 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Trey White’s Evolv has settled with MD Anderson. The stipulated judgment and permanent injunction can be found on http://www.realscam.com.

It’s a slam-dunk win for the good guys, the world renonwed M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Evolv didn’t admit fault, but they are now enjoined from doing all the things they were sued for doing. Score a big one for the good guys!!!

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Soapboxmom September 23, 2010 at 9:07 am Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

http://frontburner.dmagazine.com/2010/09/22/vincente-fox-to-keynote-for-dallas-felons-launch-of-evolv-in-mexico/

Please join us on http://www.realscam.com to discuss Evolv. A tremendous amount of research can be accessed there.

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Stephen March 19, 2010 at 7:23 am Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

Lot of stuff about Evolv, especially now with the addition of new distributors that were thrown out of another company for unethical business practices, however I think it’s time that we, as individuals, start taking responsibilty of our own actions. As Lou mentioned to Rick, nobody forced him to join this company, he did that on his own and if he now feels that it’s not right for him then leave and look for another opportunity.

It seems that people are feeling better after drinking the water and that should be the main thing. For years Human Beings have attempted to bring themselves up by bringing others down and it’s a quality I think we all need to work on. There is room in the industry for lots of other companies so, well it might sound naive by suggesting that we all “get along”, that’s exactly what I would like to propose!!!

Good-luck to Evolv and their distributors who, like all of us, believe in their company, products and opportunity!!!

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Mike Kline March 18, 2010 at 3:18 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

It’s issues like this that just give the whole industry a bad name. It’s like beating your head against a wall thinking it will stop hurting eventually. I wish MLM companies would stop attacking each other. That why so many bad things are said about some of the best MLM companies on the planet. You have reps spreading rumors about companies that aren’t even their competition. I personally tried the product and felt better and made a conscious effort to drink more water. Could not afford the product every month but did continue to drink spring water and that seems to help as well. Water does the body good. I think evolve is smart but we will have to wait for results to surface on pubmed and some factual clinicals.

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justice March 14, 2010 at 7:01 pm Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

Great news!!! Evolv makes the news in Dallas this up comming Monday MArch 15th on channel 8 News hear the real story first hand.

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justice February 12, 2010 at 11:44 am Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

Evolv – The Facts

Have you noticed that there were two companies that did testing on the Evolv Water, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and also FutrureCeuticals?

Also did you notice that it also says on the Evolv water bottle, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and FutrureCeuticals do not endorse this product.
It’s on every bottle, but I guess you would have to read.

Have you ever wondered why FutureCeuticals does not have a problem with their name on the bottle. I guess beacuse they did the testing too.

If you look at the facts both parties tested the water. M.D Anderson for inflammatory response and FurterCeuticals for Oxygen Utilization at the cellular level.

They both were hired by Evolv Health which paid both companies and were given permission to use the testing facilities name.

The test may have been with Houston tap water as stated in the court documents which is before Evolv went to market( clue)once they had test back they decided to use natural spring water with Archaea Active for the product that is actually in market called Evolv.

So I ask you what is the real issue here. It’s is about MLM people or People or what???

I have tried the water and it good and actually works. So if I have to buy it from a distributor so what. I actually read the bottle and figured this out all by myself. I think most people can do the same! I also wanted to find out more about the http://www.archaeaactive.com so went to the website you should too. I buy my evolv water from http://water2go.myevolv.com so what if they are distributors I buy stuff on line too. Go figure that!

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Beth December 7, 2009 at 9:51 pm Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

Nationally Recognized Cancer Researcher to Advise Health2O Products. Health20 Is Evolv’s manufacturing partner.

DALLAS, TX (December 7, 2009)—Dr. Robert Newman, a renowned medical researcher and Professor Emeritus at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, has agreed to consult with Health2o Products, LLC in regards to further testing of its Archaea Active™ formula.

http://blog.evolvhealth.com/2009/12/nationally-recognized-cancer-researcher-to-advise-health2o-products/

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Beth December 2, 2009 at 9:54 pm Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

Thank you, KCF! I could share an amazing story about my mom’s results with this product in just 4 weeks, but I would actually be making a medical claim if I were to do so.

Stay tuned… There are some very interesting announcements coming soon.

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KCF November 30, 2009 at 11:52 pm Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

I’ve been using the product myself in the testing phase for 3+ years, and members of my family and friends have been for 7 years or more.
I know all 3 of the inventors personally.
It is a wonderful product which has changed many lives for the better.

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Beth November 25, 2009 at 10:54 pm Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

This early corporate post explained the MDA connection. http://blog.evolvhealth.com/2009/09/explaining-evolvs-md-anderson-connection/

The Evolv back office training for distributors clearly explains what can and cannot be said about the product, its connection with MDA, etc.

A top leader’s comments are not what this lawsuit is about. It may have been a slip of the lip in using the word ‘endorsement’, as I heard that call as well. In fact, I have heard all the calls and read all the company posts. It is always clearly stated that neither MDA nor Futurceuticals ‘endorse’ the Evolv product.

This lawsuit is really about Evolv being an MLM company and the buzz this product has created, resulting in numerous phone calls to MDA and UT.

And of course, it brings out the MLM bashers, as well as the MLM competition, to further add to the negative publicity.

I have been on board with this company since early September. The product is stellar, as are the ownership, management, and leadership.

Do you really think Trey White put the MD Anderson name on the bottle, website, etc. without their permission and a legal contract? Read his credentials at the EvolvHealth site- http://www.evolvhealth.com/whatis_company.asp- click on his picture in the middle, and decide for yourself.

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Beth November 25, 2009 at 3:13 pm Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

This is what is posted on the EvolvHealth corporate blog.

http://blog.evolvhealth.com/news-mdaccletter/

Frankly, our own MLM industry will very likely have the biggest heyday with this, tearing down the competition, instead of us all being each others’ biggest fans.

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louabbott November 25, 2009 at 4:41 pm Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

Thanks for the link with comments from Trey White (Founder and Chairman of Evolv Health).

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Rick White November 25, 2009 at 11:59 am Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

Thanks for the waiste of time and MONEY being associated with Evolv, that time and money is important to us NON- billionaires too Mr. Trey White!!!
Cease the “opportunity” what a joke now,Guys like you are making the industry Bad Name, Reality is it could change the world economy doing it right! Happy Holidays…

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louabbott November 25, 2009 at 12:32 pm Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

I understand your anger, Rick. I am sure others may feel the same way.

If I may offer some unsolicited advice–I know, a dangerous thing to do–the thing to do now is to turn the experience into something positive.

Assume responsibility. It was your decision to join.
So how can you make a better decision next time?

That is, of course, one of the reasons that I wrote my special report that teaches people a criteria to use in evaluating “opportunities.”

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