FTC awarded preliminary injunction against publisher of online academic journals
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was awarded a preliminary injunction by the U.S. Court of the District of Nevada against defendants OMICS Group Inc., iMedPub LLC, and Conference Series LLC, to stop them from engaging in alleged unfair and deceptive practices in the publication of online academic journals and the organization of scientific conferences.
The injunction also requires the defendants to identify assets and account for their current finances, and to preserve financial records.
The FTC’s complaint alleges that the defendants:
- Make numerous misrepresentations regarding the nature and reputation of their journals in order to attract consumers.
- Fail to disclose that they charge significant fees in exchange for their publication service.
- Make numerous misrepresentations in connection with the marketing of their scientific conferences.
The injunction was pursuant to Section 5 of the FTC Act, which prohibits “unfair or deceptive practices in or affecting commerce.” According to the court order, the Court found “that the FTC satisfied its burden of demonstrating a likelihood of success on the merits of its claims”, and that “the evidence produced by the FTC demonstrates that the defendants engaged in probable misrepresentations regarding journal publishing” and “probable misrepresentations regarding their conferences”, and cited several examples of each.
The court also declined the defendants’ motion to dismiss.