Phil Hampton in Bloomberg BNA Intellectual Property Law Resource Center: FDA's Juice Labeling Regulations Do Not Bar False Advertising Claim Under Lanham Act


The federal food labeling law and its accompanying regulations do not bar a juice manufacturer from asserting a false advertising claim against a competitor based on an allegation that a juice label is misleading, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled July 12 in a unanimous decision. (POM Wonderful LLC v. Coca-Cola Co., U.S., No. 12-761, 6/12/14)

Reversing a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth District, the court also rejected an argument by the Solicitor General that the juice labeling regulations act as a "ceiling" on the scope of false advertising claims...

A similar point was made by Philip G. Hampton II of Haynes and Boone, LLP, Washington, D.C., who was assistant commissioner for trademarks at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office from 1994 to 1998. He made a comparison between the FDA's role in this case to some of the regulatory activities of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

"I'll be interested to see if this extends to some of the other agency regulations, for example, some of the ATF regulations part when it comes to, for example, liquor labeling," Hampton said. "I think there are certain rules for labeling of liquor that you can get approved by the ATF, but I think just because you get an approval from the ATF, that may not end the discussion."

Excerpted from Bloomberg BNA Intellectual Property Resource Center, June 16, 2014. To view full article, click here (subscription required).

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