False Advertising & Lanham Act Litigation

Steptoe’s trial lawyers have a long track record of successfully defending clients in disputes involving false, deceptive, and unfair advertising; comparative advertising; consumer fraud (including claims under California’s Unfair Competition Law, Calif. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200); trade libel; and other claims concerning commercial speech, advertising, and marketing.   We have litigated dozens of matters under the federal Lanham Act and state false advertising and deceptive trade practice laws, and have handled some of the most high-profile, widely cited cases of this nature.  Our lawyers have decades of experience litigation these cases in various forums throughout the US, including federal district and appellate courts, state courts, and the International Trade Commission (ITC).

Representative Matters

False Advertising & Consumer Fraud Litigation

  • Successfully obtained dismissal on behalf of a major consumer goods company in a false advertising class action in the US District Court for the Central District of California.  Plaintiffs alleged misleading advertising and labeling of a name brand health and beauty product manufactured by the client.
  • Successfully defended a major consumer goods company in a consumer fraud class action in the San Francisco Superior Court.  Plaintiffs filed claims under Calif. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 alleging false and misleading representations of a line of anti-aging products.  Steptoe obtained dismissal of the entire class action.
  • Defended grocery retailer in more than 10 false advertising cases, including class actions alleging misstatements in the sale of butter substitutes, kava-kava, and ginseng. 
  • Defending the manufacturer of sports bottles in nationwide consumer fraud class actions concerning the presence of the chemical BPA in polycarbonate plastics.  These cases are part of an MDL in Kansas City, Missouri.  Steptoe recently obtained orders denying motions for certification of multi-state and issues classes.
  • Successfully defended a major consumer software manufacturer in a class action alleging breaches of contract and consumer fraud.
  •  Represented Blount in Trilink Saw Chain, LLC, et al. v. Blount, Inc., et al. (N.D. Ga.), a false advertising actionrelating to saw chains for chainsaws.

Lanham Act Litigation

  • Prevailed in a complex trademark counterfeiting and infringement appeal before the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.  The lower court’s decision, including a damages award of nearly $4 million, was upheld entirely in a precedential opinion.  The 2nd Circuit was the first appeals court to find that a plaintiff seeking statutory damages under the Lanham Act can also recover attorney fees.  The opinion also clarified the test for and circumstances surrounding the stay of a civil case when there is a pending and related criminal case.  Here, the 2nd Circuit agreed with Louis Vuitton and the lower court that a stay of the lower court case was required under the law.
  • Successfully brought claims against 15 foreign and domestic respondents that manufactured, imported, and/or sold ink markers in violation of Section 337 and the Lanham Act in order to stop the increasing influx into the US of ink markers and related packaging that infringe the SHARPIE® trademarks and trade dress.  Steptoe obtained a general exclusion order for all ink markers and packaging that infringe or are confusingly similar to Sanford’s trademarks or trade dress for SHARPIE® ink markers.
  • Successfully represented the petitioner in Dastar Corp. v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., in which the US Supreme Court unanimously reversed the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in holding that “origin” in the Lanham Act refers only to tangible goods, and not to the contents of creative works.
  • Successfully represented Regions Bank in in a Lanham Act and deceptive trade practices litigation in Regions Bank v. Relief Law Center Inc. et al.  (N.D. Ala.)
  • Represented ConvaTec in a trademark infringement and unfair competition action involving the VERSIVA trademark involving medical products in ConvaTec Inc. v. Boston Scientific (N.D. Ill.)
  • Represented Black & Decker in an advertising and Lanham Act litigation in Soccer United Marketing, L.L.C. et al v. The Black & Decker Corporation (S.D.N.Y.)
  • Represented Regions Bank in a Lanham Act litigation in Regions Financial Corporation et al v. Rec-Check, Inc. (N.D. Ala.)
  • Represented ConvaTec in a declaratory judgment action filed by Lifembraced in response to ConvaTec's allegations of trademark infringement, unfair competition, and cybersquatting based on the LIFE EMBRACED mark in Lifembraced, Inc. v. ConvaTec Inc, (S.D. Cal.)
  • Represented Regions Bank in a Lanham Act litigation in Regions Asset Company, et al. v. Regions University, Inc. (M.D. Ala.)

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