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Joel Leviton mentioned in Law 360 article about the Pom v. Coke Lanham Act ruling

In the News
06.12.2014

Stinson Leonard Street attorney Joel Leviton is mentioned in a Law360 aricle about a decision ruled by the Supreme Court in regards to the Pom v. Coke Lanham Act ruling.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that federal regulations do not preclude companies from bringing false advertising claims under the Lanham Act, allowing Pom Wonderful LLC to pursue allegations against The Coca-Cola Co. Here, Joel shares his thoughts on the significance of the decision.

“The implication is that food and beverage manufactures must vet labels — and ads — to assess whether a label is potentially deceptive regardless of whether the label complies with the FDCA. The FDA, however, does not preapprove food and beverage labels, like it does with labels for pharmaceuticals. This raises the question of whether actual preapproval of a label from the FDA would insulate against a Lanham Act claim. Based on the court’s application of statutory interpretation principles and the cited purposes of the two statutes at issue — protecting the public, in the case of the FDCA, and protecting commercial interests of competitors, in the case of the Lanham Act — the decision signals that even preapproval by the FDA would not insulate against a Lanham Act claim. The court disagreed with the government, which argued that the Lanham Act should be precluded if the FDA regulations specifically require or authorize the challenged aspects of the labels. The court rejected that approach, recognizing that Congress intended the FDCA and the Lanham Act to complement each other. Bottom line, compliance with FDA regulations does not excuse a party from assessing other advertising and labeling issues.”

Visit Law 360 to view the entire article and view other attorneys opinions on the decision.

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Gretchen DeSutter
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612.335.1657

gretchen.desutter@stinson.com

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