Proskauer on Advertising Law
Proskauer on Advertising Law
Alexander Kaplan

Alexander Kaplan

Partner

Alexander Kaplan is a partner in the Litigation Department. Alex is a commercial litigator and trial lawyer with broad expertise in intellectual property litigation and counseling. He has substantial experience in the fields of copyright, trademark, advertising and trade secrets law, representing clients in a wide array of fields and industries.

In trademark and false advertising matters, Alex represents and advises a range of consumer product, fashion, food and beverage, pharmaceutical and medical device companies before the federal courts, TTAB and NAD. He has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in numerous Lanham Act matters in courts across the country, including in multiple preliminary injunction hearings and jury trials. Beyond litigation, Alex frequently counsels clients concerning advertising and marketing claim substantiation and review. He is an editor of and contributor to Proskauer’s advertising law blog, Watch This Space: Proskauer on Advertising Law, and is a frequent speaker at advertising law conferences and courses.

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Tough Puffery: Court Closes Door on Ford False Advertising Suit

The Northern District of New York recently found that Ford Motor Company’s “Built Ford Tough” slogan was non-actionable puffery, and dismissed putative false advertising class action claims brought under New York law that centered on that slogan. The case is Kommer v. Ford Motor Company, No. 1:17-cv-296 in the Northern District of New York. The … Continue Reading

#SocialMedia #Endorsement #Disclosures #Sponsored (notthispost): FTC Warns Social Media Influencers and Advertisers about Failure to Disclose Relationships

Recognizing the growing role of social media and influencers in marketing today, the Federal Trade Commission announced on April 19 that it sent more than 90 letters to social media influencers and marketing executives reminding them to disclose relationships between brands and endorsers when promoting products on social media.  Although the FTC has taken action … Continue Reading

Foreign Importer Hanging by a Thread, but International Trade Commission Cuts It Off

The International Trade Commission recently issued a general exclusion order barring the importation of bed sheets with falsely advertised thread counts as a remedy for Section 337 violations.  The decision in In re Certain Woven Textile Fabrics and Products Containing Same demonstrates the potential reach of Section 337, which prohibits unfair practices related to the … Continue Reading

Fourth Circuit Tells District Court Not to Abstain in False Ad Holy War

At the heart of this unique Lanham Act case is a dispute between the Episcopal Church (the “Church”) and one of its “disaffiliated” districts, the Diocese of South Carolina (“Diocese”).  In 2012, led by its Bishop Mark Lawrence, the Diocese withdrew from the Church, but the Church did not recognize the withdrawal, and appointed Bishop … Continue Reading

No Scrubs Permitted: Eleventh Circuit Affirms Blog Post Is Not Advertising Actionable Under Lanham Act

In an interesting recent opinion, the Eleventh Circuit held that a doctor’s blog post criticizing another doctor and his clinical practice could not form the basis of a Lanham Act claim because the blog posts were not commercial advertising or promotion. This case thus involves a rare circumstance in which a communication did not qualify … Continue Reading

FTC and DeVry University Settle False Advertising Claims for $100M

In December 2016, DeVry University agreed to pay $100 million to settle a lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over allegations stemming from DeVry’s advertising about the employment rates and salaries of its graduates. According to the FTC press release announcing the settlement in FTC v. DeVry Educ. Group in the district court for … Continue Reading

Update on Second Circuit Ruling in Church & Dwight v. SPD Swiss Precision Diagnostics “Weeks Estimator” Home Pregnancy Test Litigation

Last month we summarized the Second Circuit’s important decision in a dispute between plaintiff-appellee Church & Dwight and its principal competitor, defendant-appellant SPD Swiss Precision Diagnostics, concerning SPD’s false advertising of its Clearblue Weeks Estimator Home Pregnancy Test.  As we reported, a Second Circuit panel in September unanimously affirmed rulings by Judge Alison Nathan of … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Affirms Ruling that SPD Swiss Precision Diagnostics Falsely Advertised Clearblue Weeks Estimator Home Pregnancy Test and Did so Intentionally and Egregiously

In an important recent false advertising decision in a suit brought by home pregnancy test manufacturer Church & Dwight against its principal competitor SPD Swiss Precision Diagnostics, a Second Circuit panel unanimously affirmed orders by Judge Alison Nathan of the Southern District of New York, following a bench trial on liability, (i) holding that SPD … Continue Reading

Proskauer: Principal Sponsor of 38th Annual BAA Marketing Law Conference

On Wednesday November 9 through Friday November 11, the Association of National Advertisers and the Brand Activation Association (BAA) held their 38th annual Marketing Law Conference at the Downtown Chicago Marriott Hotel, 540 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611.  Proskauer was a principal sponsor of the conference, and two of our partners – Lawrence Weinstein, the … Continue Reading

FDA New-trition Rules

Last month, the FDA finalized amendments to the Nutrition Facts labeling rules for packaged foods and dietary supplements to reflect developments in nutrition science, including new scientific information regarding the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease. Here are the highlights:… Continue Reading

The FTC Trims the Fat Off Even More Companies Selling Weight Loss Products

Hungry to prevent more companies from selling allegedly bogus weight loss products, the FTC has settled yet another false advertising suit against various sellers of diet pills, in a case similar to February’s Sale Slash settlement blogged about here.  The FTC’s latest diet pill settlement enjoins distributors of the dietary supplement known as Pure Green Coffee … Continue Reading

Stars Fail to Align for P&G, as Supreme Court Rejects Class Certification Appeal

Readers may recall our coverage in recent months of the challenge by Procter & Gamble (P&G) to an order certifying a multi-state consumer class in a case asserting that P&G falsely advertised its probiotic supplement Align. Last August, a divided panel of the Sixth Circuit affirmed class certification. In October, the Sixth Circuit stayed its … Continue Reading

Fourth Circuit Extends Section 43(a) Lanham Act Standing to Companies Not Selling Their Product or Using Their Mark in the U.S.

Last week, an appellate court held that a plaintiff has standing to bring a false association and false advertising claim under Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act, even though it did not use its mark or sell its competing product in the United States. In Belmora LLC v. Bayer Consumer Care AG, a Fourth Circuit … Continue Reading

SPF 70 Claims Blocked

A putative class action got burned at the certification stage earlier this month when U.S. Magistrate Judge Edwin G. Torres for the Southern District of Florida found that the proposed class failed to satisfy the ascertainability and typicality requirements. Plaintiff Nathan Dapeer sued Neutrogena, claiming that he and similarly situated consumers had been deceived by … Continue Reading

Snack Time: Court Finds Prominent Pictures of Produce on Fruit Snacks Not Deceptive

Last month, the Northern District of California held that prominent photographs of fruits and vegetables on Plum Organics’ food packaging were not enough to mislead a reasonable consumer into believing that the pictured produce were the product’s predominant ingredients. A picture on food packaging may speak a thousand words but, according to the court, reasonable … Continue Reading

Follow Instructions For Use Carefully: NARB Affirms Clorox Advertisement Is Unsubstantiated

A recent National Advertising Review Board (“NARB”) decision reminds advertisers to adhere to a fundamental principle of product testing: competing products should be tested in accordance with their usage instructions to substantiate comparative claims. The September 8, 2015 decision involved a Clorox advertisement showing side-by-side white t-shirts with large spaghetti stains. One shirt was treated … Continue Reading

Staying Natural: Hain Label Dispute Must Wait for Ninth Circuit Decisions

A district judge in the Northern District of California pressed pause on a mislabeling suit involving “natural” claims pending the outcome of two Ninth Circuit appeals. Astiana v. The Hain Celestial Group, Inc., et al., No. 11-cv-06342 (PJH) (N.D. Cal.) is a putative class action in which the consumer plaintiffs alleged that Hain misleadingly labeled … Continue Reading

BAA’s 37th Marketing Law Conference-Walking the Line: Between Innovation and Regulation

Larry Weinstein and Alex Kaplan recently presented on cutting-edge topics in advertising law at the Brand Activation Association’s Marketing Law Conference, Walking the Line: Between Innovation and Regulation, one of the industry’s most important marketing and advertising law conferences. The BAA’s 37th annual Conference was held on November 10th and 11th at the Chicago Marriott … Continue Reading

Punch to the Gut: Government Denied Contempt Ruling in Bayer Probiotic Case

Bayer recently avoided a contempt finding concerning its Phillips’ Colon Health (“PCH”) probiotics advertising. Bayer advertised PCH as “Promot[ing] Overall Digestive Health” and “Help[ing] Defend Against Occasional Constipation, Diarrhea, Gas and Bloating.” The Government contended Bayer violated a 2007 consent decree requiring Bayer to possess “competent and reliable scientific evidence” substantiating such claims. To support … Continue Reading

A Yarn Spun, But Advertising Not Tailored to a Lanham Act Claim

In a recent application of the Supreme Court’s 2014 Lexmark decision on standing, the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held last month that a yarn retailer who alleged it was misled by its supplier into purchasing mislabeled yarn lacked standing to bring a Lanham Act false advertising claim. Knit With v. Knitting Fever, … Continue Reading

Ruling Allows Gerber False Advertising Suit to Crawl Onward

For plaintiffs concerned that the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ June 19, 2015 decision in Brown v. GNC Corp. signaled the muscling in of a stricter new pleading standard for false advertising class actions nationwide, a recent ruling out of the Central District of California likely acted as a pacifier. On July 14, 2015, U.S. … Continue Reading

Irreparable Harm and Trademark Law Demystified! A 2015 Perspective LIVE Webcast

Alex Kaplan was one of three panelists speaking at the Knowledge Congress’ webcast “Irreparable Harm and Trademark Law Demystified! A 2015 Perspective LIVE Webcast” This event was scheduled for Thursday, October 1, 2015 @ 12:00pm-2:00pm ET.  Complimentary passes were available for the first 30 registrants courtesy of Proskauer at https://gkc.memberclicks.net/index.php?option=com_mc&view=mc&mcid=form_199984.  The event synopsis is below: … Continue Reading

Out of Align-ment: Sixth Circuit Affirms Class Certification in Probiotics Case

A recent Sixth Circuit decision that affirmed certification of a multi-state consumer class action asserting false advertising claims concerning Align – a Proctor & Gamble probiotic product promising digestive health benefits – has left us with an uneasy feeling in the pit of our stomachs. In Rikos v. P&G, the judge writing the opinion of … Continue Reading
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