The Fourth Circuit has recently made it more difficult for false advertising plaintiffs to survive a motion to dismiss where their claims are based on an allegation of “literal falsity.” In the suit, plaintiffs, purchasers of certain joint health supplements, alleged that GNC and Rite Aid engaged in false advertising and violated various state consumer protection laws, deceptive advertising, and express warranty statutes in marketing joint health supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin.
Arent Fox advises on all aspects of advertising and trade regulation law. We counsel businesses on how to avoid and respond to investigations by federal and state government agencies for alleged false advertising, unfair sales, and marketing practices. We litigate false advertising and unfair competition claims between competitors in court and in the industry’s self-regulatory proceedings. Representative clients include: Discovery Channel, Corbis Corporation, Google, Red Hat, Diesel, Benetton, Hasbro, The Limited, PlayStation and Victoria’s Secret.
Rockwell Automation, Inc. (Rockwell), a leading industrial parts manufacturer, recently sued industrial parts distributor Radwell International, Inc. (Radwell), alleging numerous violations of the Lanham Act, including claims of trademark infringement and false advertising, as well as multiple violations of state unfair competitions laws. According to the complaint, Radwell has sold various Rockwell-branded products without authorization, while falsely claiming that these products are warranted by Rockwell. The case, Rockwell Automation, Inc., v.
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Beginning September 1, 2015, many companies that engage in mobile advertising will be subject to a new level of scrutiny by industry watch dogs. On that date, the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA), an industry self-regulatory organization, will begin to actively enforce its guidelines for online behavioral advertising (also known as “interest-based advertising”).
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Publisher Sega of America, Inc. (Sega) and developer Gearbox Software, L.L.C. (Gearbox) are involved in a battle centered around Aliens: Colonial Marines (ACM), a videogame based upon the hit film Aliens. The case is one involving unmet expectations – advertising and demonstrations that did not accurately reflect the final product.
The international skin care and cosmetics company Mary Kay is hitting back against what it is calling a “fraudulent couponing scheme” operated by the online digital coupon marketplace, RetailMeNot. Earlier this month, Mary Kay filed a federal lawsuit against RetailMeNot (RMN) alleging that RMN’s online coupon business violates federal trademark and advertising laws, as well as federal and state unfair competition laws.
There was good news for those companies that have products with unique designs at the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). The PTO found that the design of a monster truck could be protected and registered as trade dress for the “services” offered by the owner.
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Tinder, a mobile dating application, recently removed an advertising campaign being conducted on the app by Gap, Inc. (Gap). Tinder claimed that the advertisements violated its terms of service, which provide that the app is for “personal use only.” This should serve as a reminder to businesses to read and ensure compliance with the relevant terms of service before engaging in advertising on social media platforms.
For the first time, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has added guidance on negative option billing plans to its “Code of Advertising.” The Code governs advertising disputes for the 112 BBB chapters in the US and Canada. Although the BBB is best known for disputes through the National Advertising Division (NAD), the BBB’s local chapters last year dealt with more than 10,000 advertising disputes and the BBB reports that complaints about negative option plans alone number in the thousands annually.
On April 1, 2015, Sarah Bruno and Matthew Mills of Arent Fox will present “Marketing with New Technology: The Intersection of Advertising and Data Collection” during the Association of National Advertisers’ Advertising Law & Public Policy Conference. As with past conferences, attendees will hear from important regulators on key issues that are shaping the legal and political climate for advertising and marketing.
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Focus Education, LLC, a leading provider in the growing market for cognitive improvement products, recently settled with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over charges that it was misleading consumers through the use of deceptive advertising tactics. Specifically, the FTC took issue with claims that the company’s primary product, the ifocus System, would bring about permanent cognitive improvement in children.
ABOUT ARENT FOX LLP
Arent Fox LLP, founded in 1942, is internationally recognized in core practice areas where business and government intersect. With more than 350 lawyers, the firm provides strategic legal counsel and multidisciplinary solutions to clients that range from Fortune 500 corporations to trade associations. The firm has offices in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.