Proskauer on Advertising Law
Proskauer on Advertising Law
Lawrence Weinstein

Lawrence Weinstein

Partner and Co-Head, False Advertising & Trademark Practice

Larry Weinstein is a partner in Proskauer's Litigation Department. He is co-head of the firm’s Intellectual Property Litigation Group, and also co-head of the firm’s False Advertising & Trademark Practice. Larry is a distinguished trial lawyer and counselor who concentrates on Lanham Act and consumer class action false advertising litigation, as well as NAD proceedings, trademark, trade secret and copyright litigation and sports, art and other complex commercial cases.

Larry’s clients include medical device and pharmaceutical companies and other owners and advertisers of the world’s most well-recognized brands, as well as sports governing bodies, teams and leagues, an environmental organization, hospitals and art collectors.

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SCOTUS to Decide Whether the Lanham Act Requires Proof of Willfulness for Disgorgement of Profits

On Friday, June 28, 2019, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil, Inc. to decide whether a showing of willfulness is necessary to obtain a defendant’s profits under the Lanham Act. In Romag, the plaintiff, a manufacturer of magnetic snap fasteners, sued Fossil and various retailers for, among other things, infringement … Continue Reading

NAD Not Influenced by Verification Platform’s Claims

In a recent decision, the advertising industry self-regulatory body NAD recommended that influencer marketing firm Ahalogy tone down some of its claims about the capabilities of its new product, the Tri-Verified influencer marketing platform. The decision comes at a time when influencer marketing is becoming an increasingly popular— and challenging—field. Influencer marketing is what the … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Limits Removal of Class-Action Counterclaims

On May 28, the Supreme Court decided Home Depot U.S.A. v. Jackson, 17-1471 (2019), ruling 5–4 that third-party counterclaim defendants may not remove class actions from state to federal court. The decision, besides keeping in state court certain class actions that otherwise could be removed to federal court, is noteworthy for the highly unusual composition … Continue Reading

Chambers Pharmaceutical Advertising 2019: USA

Proskauer partners Lawrence Weinstein and Alexander Kaplan wrote the book – 11 chapters of it – on U.S pharmaceutical advertising law. The 2019 Chambers Global Practice Guide: Pharmaceutical Advertising is a great, curated resource for drug companies, hospitals, medical practices and other U.S. health care organizations. The guide provides insight to topics such as: FDA and … Continue Reading

Justin Timberlake Waves Bai Bai Bai to Partially Dismissed “No Artificial Flavors” Beverage Mislabeling Suit

Last month, a judge in the Southern District of California partially dismissed a putative class action against beverage company Bai Brands, LLC (“Bai”) and related defendants. Branca v. Bai Brands, LLC, No. 18-00757 (S.D. Cal. 2019). Plaintiff Kevin Branca filed this lawsuit against Bai, its parent company Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. (“DPSG”), the CEOs of … Continue Reading

California Court Sours on Starbucks Gummies Lawsuit

Several months ago we covered two Second Circuit decisions that addressed false advertising claims related to ingredients and product labeling of foods, which reached differing results. Applying similar principles, a recent decision from the Southern District of California found that Starbucks’ packaging for its sour gummy candies did not reasonably suggest that the candies were … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Denies Review of Class Certification in Beer Labeling Brouhaha

In a 2-1 decision memorialized in a one-page order, a Ninth Circuit panel recently denied Kona Brewing’s request for leave to appeal a grant of class certification to a consumer class claiming that the company’s branding deceptively communicated the false message that Kona beer is brewed in Hawaii. Broomfield v. Craft Brew Alliance, No. 18-80145 … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Sends Brain-Booster Claim Case Back to District Court

After Ninth Circuit review, it remains to be seen whether a nutritional supplement maker can claim that ginkgo biloba leaf extract and vinpocetine supplements improve “alertness,” “mental clarity, and memory” in the face of contradictory scientific studies. In Korolshteyn v. Costco Wholesale, No. 17-56435 (2019), the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court order granting summary judgment in favor … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Shreds Plaintiff’s Credit Card Receipt Case On Standing Grounds

The Third Circuit recently held that procedural violations of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (“FACTA”), absent any showing of concrete harm, do not meet Article III standing requirements.  Kamal v. J. Crew Group, 2019 WL 1087350 (3rd Cir. 2019). Plaintiff Ahmed Kamal commenced a suit against J. Crew Group after making purchases at … Continue Reading

Snack Bar Class Action Powers On After USDA Action and FDA Inaction

Unlike a fine wine, a snack bar does not get better with age. Neither, apparently, does litigation. Last month, Judge William H. Pauley III in the Southern District of New York lifted a years-long stay in a lawsuit against KIND LLC concerning the allegedly false marketing of KIND snack products as “all-natural” and “non-GMO.” In … Continue Reading

FTC Statistics Confirm Risks to Advertisers of Refusing to Participate in NAD Proceedings

No advertiser likes challenges to its advertising, whether by private litigants, state or federal governmental agencies, or in voluntary self-regulatory NAD proceedings.  But for companies whose advertising is challenged at NAD, there are good reasons to participate and to abide, like it or not, by NAD’s recommendations or those of NARB, the appellate arm of … Continue Reading

If Class Action Litigants Could Turn Back Time (The Text Would Have Said So)

Last week, the Supreme Court unanimously reversed a Ninth Circuit decision, resolving a circuit split in ruling that Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(f)’s 14-day deadline for a losing party to file a petition for permission to appeal an order granting or denying class certification is not subject to equitable tolling. Nutraceutical Corp. v. Lambert, … Continue Reading

Nestlé’s Non-Disclosure of Child and Slave Labor Issues on Packaging Not Deceptive or Unfair, Massachusetts Federal Court Holds

Though child and slave labor is “widespread, reprehensible, and tragic,” a federal court in the District of Massachusetts found it was not deceptive for Nestlé to omit from product labels that those practices (allegedly) exist in its supply chain. In granting defendant Nestlé’s motion to dismiss, the court, after assuming that plaintiff’s allegations are true, … Continue Reading

SDNY Judge Not Sweet on Dannon’s Bid for a Preliminary Injunction

In a battle of leading yogurt beverage makers, Chief Judge Colleen McMahon of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently denied Dannon’s application for a preliminary injunction in its false advertising suit against Chobani. The result of Judge McMahon’s decision is that Chobani can continue to sell its yogurt drinks … Continue Reading

State of Nature: District Courts Diverge in Treatment of “Natural” False Advertising Claims

Two recent contrasting decisions in class action false advertising cases alleging misleading uses of the term “natural” for food products underscore the difficulty in predicting the likelihood of achieving an early stage dismissal in these cases. Late last year, Judge Richard Seeborg in the Northern District of California denied Williams-Sonoma’s motion to dismiss an alleged … Continue Reading

San Francisco City Ordinance Takes a Hard Hit in Ninth Circuit Soft Drink Lawsuit

Can an en banc decision of a federal appellate court be controversial even when every single active judge of that court agrees with the outcome? The answer is emphatically yes, as confirmed by the Ninth Circuit’s January 31, 2019 en banc decision in American Beverage Ass’n et al. v. City & County of San Francisco, … Continue Reading

SCOTUS to Decide If Courts Must Defer to the FCC’s Interpretation of “Unsolicited Advertisements” under the TCPA

On November 13, 2018, the Supreme Court agreed to consider the amount of deference a federal court is required to give the Federal Communications Commission in determining what constitutes an unsolicited advertisement within the meaning of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). PDR Network v. Carlton & Harris, No. 17-1705. The case is scheduled for … Continue Reading

Kimberly-Clark Unable to Flush Wet Wipes Case

On December 10, 2018, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in Kimberly-Clark Corp, v. Davidson, No. 18-304 (2018), in which Kimberly-Clark sought to overturn a controversial Ninth Circuit decision allowing a plaintiff in a false advertising case to seek injunctive relief on behalf of an alleged consumer class notwithstanding that plaintiff’s complaint acknowledged she was aware … Continue Reading

Failure to Disclose Claims Washed Away in Facial Scrub Case

On December 17, 2018, Judge Andrew J. Guilford in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California granted defendant Unilever’s motion for summary judgment, dismissing all claims in a putative class action concerning St. Ives Apricot Scrub. Browning v. Unilever United States, Inc., 2018 WL 6615064 (C.D. Cal. Dec. 17, 2018). Plaintiffs alleged … Continue Reading

No Use Crying Over Spilled (Almond) Milk: Ninth Circuit Upholds Dismissal of Almond Milk Labeling Suit

On December 20, 2018, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal without leave to amend of a putative class action complaint against Blue Diamond Growers, which alleged that the term “almond milk” on Blue Diamond’s beverages was misleading. Painter v. Blue Diamond Growers, — Fed.Appx. —, 2018 WL 6720560 (9th Cir. Dec. 20, 2018). The named … Continue Reading

Cheez-Its Class Action Revived in “Whole” by Second Circuit

We recently blogged about the Second Circuit’s December 3, 2018 decision in Jessani v. Monini, where, applying the reasonable consumer standard, the Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed the dismissal with prejudice of a complaint alleging that the label of an extra virgin olive oil product advertised as “truffle flavored” falsely implied that the product contained … Continue Reading

$15 Million False Ad Verdict Boosts Damages In Probiotic IP Dispute

On November 20, 2018, a years-long dispute before Judge Theodore Chuang in the District of Maryland over probiotics culminated in a gut-wrenching $18 million jury verdict against defendant pharmaceutical companies.  The case is De Simone v. VSL Pharmaceuticals, Inc. et al., No. 8:15-cv-01356. The dispute involved numerous claims and counterclaims, including both a claim and a … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Works Out Preclusion and Preemption Issues in Protein Powder Dispute

On December 4, 2018, the Eleventh Circuit partially reversed the dismissal of Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals’ suit against HBS International Corp. for alleged violations of the Lanham Act and Georgia’s Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. HBS International Corp., No. 17-13884 (11th Cir. 2018). Hi-Tech alleged that the label of HBS’s protein-powder supplement – … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Affirms Jury Verdict In Favor of Homeopathic Remedy for Flu-Like Symptoms

On November 8, 2018, the Ninth Circuit affirmed a jury verdict in a consumer class action deceptive advertising case in favor of Defendants Boiron Inc. and Boiron USA, Inc. (together, “Boiron”), the sellers of a homeopathic treatment for flu-like symptoms called Oscillococcinum (“Oscillo”).  Although the Ninth Circuit’s memorandum decision is marked “Not for Publication” and … Continue Reading
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