What is False Advertising of Trademarks?

False advertising is a form of unfair competition under the Lanham Act and can be considered trademark infringement.False advertising is a form of unfair competition under the Lanham Act. It occurs when a company makes false or misleading claims about its products or services in advertising or other commercial speech. False advertising can take many forms, including making false claims about the characteristics, benefits, or quality of a product or service, making misleading comparisons to other products or services, or using deceptive endorsements or testimonials.

The Lanham Act provides a cause of action for false advertising, which allows individuals and companies to bring a legal action against false advertisers. To prove false advertising as form of trademark infringement, the plaintiff must show that the advertising is false or misleading and that the false or misleading advertising has a material effect on the purchasing decision of consumers.

If the plaintiff prevails in a lawsuit for false advertising, they may be entitled to various remedies, such as injunctions, damages, and attorney’s fees. The plaintiff can also seek an injunction to stop the false advertising.

It’s important to note that the standard for false advertising under the Lanham Act is whether the advertising is likely to mislead a significant portion of consumers, even if the advertising is not intended to be misleading. This means that a company can be held liable for false advertising of a even if it did not intend to deceive consumers.

Examples of False Advertising Trademark Cases

Here are a few examples of trademark false advertising under the Lanham Act:

  • POM Wonderful LLC vs. Coca-Cola Co.: In the case of POM Wonderful LLC v. Coca-Cola Co., POM accused Coca-Cola of falsely advertising its pomegranate-blueberry juice blend as being made mostly of pomegranate and blueberry juice, when it actually contained mostly apple and grape juice.
  • Skechers USA, Inc. vs. Nike, Inc.: In the case of Skechers USA, Inc. v. Nike, Inc., Skechers accused Nike of false advertising by claiming that its “Shape-ups” shoes provided health benefits, such as improved posture and weight loss, without sufficient scientific evidence.
  • Dannon Company, Inc. vs. General Mills, Inc.: In the case of Dannon Company, Inc. v. General Mills, Inc., Dannon accused General Mills of false advertising for claiming that its Yoplait yogurt contained “active cultures” when some of its products did not actually contain live and active cultures.

These are a few examples of the many cases in which companies have been accused of trademark false advertising under the Lanham Act.

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