9 Questions to Ask in Suing a Rival for False Advertising


Advertising is a key ingredient to most companies’ success. Potent advertising can give a rising company a lift and an established business staying power. When deployed by a competitor, advertising can threaten a rival's reputation, market share and bottom line. But when a competitor's advertising verges from truth to falsehood, marketing personnel and executives are likely to ask: "Should we sue those shame- less liars for false advertising?" Here are nine key factors to consider in answering that question.

1. Does The Claim Cut To The Core? -

An important strategic consideration is whether the claim at issue is critical to the competitor's product or campaign. If so, a successful challenge can fundamentally affect the marketplace. For instance, "Breath Assure" (a breath freshener) and "Ricelyte" (an infant oral electrolyte solution) both owe their demise to successful false advertising actions that took direct aim at the product names.

Originally published in Corporate Counsel on November 14, 2013.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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