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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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

Beer-Maker Puts an End to Brewhaha: Anheuser Busch Agrees to Settle Second of Two Class Action Lawsuits over Beer Origin Disclaimers

Anheuser Busch recently agreed to settle a consumer class action over Beck’s Beer labeling that we previously reported on with regard to the uptick in consumer class actions proceeding past the pleading stage in the Southern District of Florida. Marty et al. v. Anheuser-Busch Cos., 13-cv-23656-JJO (S.D. Fla.). Anheuser-Busch’s decision to settle the Beck’s suit … Continue Reading

Tailoring the Suit: Plaintiffs File Amended Complaint in Nordstrom Rack Price-Tag False Advertising Lawsuit

Nordstrom Rack has recently found itself at the center of an unwelcome suit over its labeling practices. Nordstrom Rack discloses the savings it offers customers by placing “compare at” labels on its price tags which show two prices: the “compare at” price and a lower, actual sale price. A recent class action filed in the … Continue Reading

In Consumer Class Actions, Discovery is not Insured

Consumer class action defendants in New Jersey state courts may be able to avoid costly discovery following a New Jersey state appeals court’s recent affirmance of a pre-discovery denial of class action certification in Myska v. New Jersey Manufacturers Co. The putative class alleged that the defendants violated New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act by improperly … Continue Reading

A Court in the Sunshine State Blocks Injunctive Relief against Neutrogena Sunscreen Claims; Meanwhile P&G Cannot Flush Charmin Claims for the Same Relief in New York

Assume the following: plaintiff brings a putative class action under state consumer protection laws alleging that he bought a product based on false claims on its packaging. He seeks monetary and injunctive relief. However, plaintiff vows never to buy the product displaying the allegedly false advertising again or cannot purchase the product so-labeled because the … Continue Reading

Tomorrow is Another One-A-Day: FDA Guidelines Preempt Vitamin Claims, but Consumer Class Still Has Opportunity to Supplement

Although consumer class actions in California are dime-a-dozen, a recent Northern District of California case involving One A Day vitamins stands out because it demonstrates how federal regulations can preempt certain state law claims regarding the health benefits of dietary supplements. The putative class alleged that three statements made by Bayer on their One A … Continue Reading

Upcoming Event with the Institute for Perception

The Institute for Perception’s 2015 Advertising Claims Support Course April 13-15, 2015 The Greenbrier Resort White Sulphur Springs, WV Alexander Kaplan is a featured instructor for The Institute for Perception’s Annual Advertising Claims Support course. This is a professional development course for market research managers, product developers, intellectual property lawyers, in-house counsel, sensory and consumer … Continue Reading

Court’s Maine Message to Plaintiff Suing Poland Spring: You Don’t Have a Leg to Stand on

The District Court of Maine recently provided a reminder that – even in the post-Lexmark world of Lanham Act false advertising standing – Article III standing requirements can still impose a meaningful barrier on plaintiffs. On March 18, 2015, District of Maine Judge George Z. Singal dismissed Maine Springs, LLC’s complaint against Nestle Waters North … Continue Reading

Upcoming Events in New York and DC

NEW YORK: American Conference Institute’s 4th Advanced Forum on Resolving & Litigating Advertising Disputes March 12-13, 2015 The Carlton Hotel New York, NY Larry Weinstein is a featured panelist at ACI’s 4th Advanced Forum on Resolving & Litigation Advertising Disputes. Larry has been invited to moderate a federal judges panel on litigating Lanham Act and … Continue Reading

(Baby)Food for Thought: In Alleging Unlawful and Misleading Product Labeling, Plaintiff Needed More Than One Gerber Baby

Last month, Judge Lucy H. Koh of the Northern District of California granted summary judgment in favor of Gerber because the plaintiff failed to satisfy the “reasonable consumer standard” in backing up her allegations that Gerber baby food labeling was misleading in violation of California state law. The case illustrates an important threshold to the reasonable … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Irons Out “Powerful” Performance False Advertising Dispute

The Third Circuit has rendered a notable decision with important implications for the use of fine print in advertising. The Court held that small print statements that explicitly define the terms of a more prominent superior performance claim can render that performance claim unambiguous – and thus subject to a literal falsity claim – even if … Continue Reading

Consumer Class Actions Brewing in Florida as Federal Courts Deny a Series of Motions to Dismiss

While California historically has a reputation as the most plaintiff-friendly forum for alleged consumer class action deceptive advertising cases, Florida is emerging as stiff competition for the title after a recent trio of orders denying motions to dismiss consumer fraud actions emerged out of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Rejects Presumption of Irreparable Harm for Injunctive Relief under Lanham Act

Following a series of recent appellate decisions across the spectrum of intellectual property disciplines, including the fields of patent, copyright and trade secrets, the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has ruled that a plaintiff cannot rely on a presumption of irreparable harm in seeking preliminary injunctive relief under the Lanham Act.  In Ferring … Continue Reading

What a Tangled Web We Weave, When First We Practice to Deceive: Second Circuit Holds that “Deliberate Deception” Creates Legal Presumption of Consumer Confusion and Injury in a Two-Player Market

On July 29, the Second Circuit clarified its view that, in a two-player market, willfully deceptive advertising – even non-comparative advertising – creates a legal presumption of consumer confusion and injury, applicable to determination of both liability and damages. This emphatic opinion makes plain the peril that follows a finding that defendant willfully engaged in … Continue Reading

Cracking Under Pressure: “Raw” Juice Class Action down the Drain after Plaintiffs Cite Articles that Squeeze the Life out of their Complaint

On July 2, 2014 Judge Vince Chhabria dismissed a class action alleging that Hain Celestial Group, a manufacturer of “raw” juices, misleadingly labelled and advertised its wares. This dismissal is noteworthy – and should stand as a cautionary tale – because the class plaintiffs eviscerated their own claims and pleaded themselves out of court by … Continue Reading

End of Battery Class Actions Almost in Sight

On April 22, 2014, the Plaintiff in Poertner v. Gillette Co. moved for final approval of settlement and for attorneys’ fees and costs. The settlement, reached in September 2013, would bring to an end two class actions against Gillette – one in California and one in Florida. The settlement class is comprised of over 7 … Continue Reading
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