Commercial Speech

News & Analysis as of

Amarin Pharma v. FDA – More Briefs Filed Regarding Off-Label Promotion And The First Amendment

Our prior posts looked at the Amarin Pharma, Inc. v. United States Food and Drug Administration lawsuit, which raises issues regarding the First Amendment and how it applies to speech by drug and device manufacturers...more

Guest Commentary: Life after Reed v Gilbert

Last week, we reported on the potential impact of Reed v. Gilbert, the sign regulation case that has municipalities across the nation concerned about the enforceability of local sign ordinances. This week, we’re happy to...more

Michael Jordan Defends His Right to Remain in Court to Protect His Likeness

On March 19, 2015, Wilson Elser published “Michael Jordan Denied Summary Judgment on His Right of Publicity Claim against Illinois Grocer,” an Alert concerning a case in which Michael Jordan was denied summary judgment on his...more

Federal Circuit Vacates Panel Decision on Disparaging Trademark and Orders En Banc Hearing - In re Tam

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a sua sponte order vacating its April 20, 2015, decision in In re Tam to consider the constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which provides that the U. S....more

A Scandalous Mark to Some, Free Speech to Others: Federal Circuit to Decide Whether Controversial Limit on Trademark Registrations...

The Federal Circuit has decided to revisit the constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act in the case of In re Shiao Tam, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 6840 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 27, 2015). Section 2(a) of the Lanham act allows the...more

California Federal Court Rules ‘No Surcharge’ Law Unconstitutional

A federal district court in California has ruled that a state law prohibiting retailers from imposing a surcharge on credit card purchases placed an unconstitutional restriction on the retailers’ freedom of speech and is...more

Two Rights of Publicity Decisions Explore the Boundaries of Commercial Speech in Commemorating Public Figures

Two recent rights of publicity cases illustrated the parameters of using a public figure’s name, likeness, identity or image for commercial purposes, without consent for commemorative purposes. But when does commemoration...more

Liability for Commercial Speech: A Guide to False Advertising, Commercial Disparagement, and Related Claims

This volume summarizes related bodies of law – false advertising, commercial disparagement, and defamation – that govern the conduct of business communications. It sets forth elements, damages, and related defenses for each...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds FTC Ruling on Deceptive Advertising; Rejects First Amendment Challenge

In a much-awaited decision on Friday, January 30, the D.C. Circuit upheld the Federal Trade Commission’s decision that pomegranate juice maker POM Wonderful LLC engaged in false or misleading advertising by claiming its...more

FTC Ignores the First Amendment with $9 Million Fine Against Weight Loss Supplement Company

On January 26, the manufacturer of a green coffee bean extract (GCBE) agreed to pay the Federal Trade Commission $9 million to settle charges brought by the FTC that the manufacturer deceptively advertised weight loss...more

Appeals Court upholds FTC order enjoining POM Wonderful claims – with modifications

In a much anticipated opinion, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld the vast majority of a Federal Trade Commission order enjoining pomegranate juice maker POM Wonderful from advertising that its products...more

For the Redskins, NFL Playoff Season Means. . . Constitutionality Questions?

The NFL playoffs aren’t the only big football news happening this month! The U.S. Department of Justice recently decided to intervene in the Washington Redskins trademark litigation over the constitutionality of certain...more

NFL Films Ruling Blurs Right of Publicity

Earlier this year the Seventh Circuit stated that “there is no judicial consensus on how to resolve conflicts between intellectual-property rights and free-speech rights.” Jordan v. Jewel Food Stores, Inc., 743 F.3d 509, 514...more

Dryer v. National Football League - USDC, D. Minn., October 10, 2014

Dryer v. National Football League - USDC, D. Minn., October 10, 2014: District court grants summary judgment in favor of NFL and against former professional football players who claimed that NFL’s use of video footage...more

All Native Advertising is Not Equal: Why that Matters Under the First Amendment and Why it Should Matter to the FTC – Part V

—PART V— Not all Native Advertising May Be Commercial Speech under the First Amendment - If there is one thing clear from the case law, it is that the commercial speech analysis under the First Amendment is a...more

All Native Advertising is Not Equal: Why that Matters Under the First Amendment and Why it Should Matter to the FTC – Part IV

—PART IV— Commercial and Noncommercial Inextricably Intertwined Speech - The Bolger court found that the mailings constituted commercial speech “notwithstanding the fact that [informational pamphlets]...more

All Native Advertising is Not Equal: Why that Matters Under the First Amendment and Why it Should Matter to the FTC – Part III

The Evolution of Commercial Speech’s First Amendment Protection - One of the fundamental purposes of the First Amendment is to promote the free flow of information in the “marketplace of ideas.” To that end, the First...more

All Native Advertising is Not Equal: Why that Matters Under the First Amendment and Why it Should Matter to the FTC – Part II

In this five part series, originally published in the Summer 2014 edition of the Media Law Resource Center Bulletin, we take an in-depth look at the native advertising phenomenon and the legal issues surrounding the practice....more

UPDATE: D.C. Circuit Clarifies Standard for Required Factual Disclosures

The D.C. Circuit issued its en banc opinion in American Meat Institute v. U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Court agreed with the panel's decision and specifically held that the test for assessing government mandates...more

Advertising Law - Mar 14, 2014

Sue Like Mike: Jordan Wins Reversal in Publicity Rights Suit - An advertisement congratulating Michael Jordan on his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame constituted commercial speech, the Seventh U.S. Circuit...more

Michael Jordan v. Jewel Food Stores: The Seventh Circuit Explores the Boundaries of Commercial Speech

When and how the First Amendment applies is normally a complicated question. In a case decided earlier this week, Michael Jordan v. Jewel Food Stores, Inc., No. 12-1992, the parties teamed up to present an issue on commercial...more

Advertising Law -- Jan 24, 2014

SPECIAL FOCUS: Exploring the Ony Decision and Its Impact on False Advertising Claims Involving Scientific Findings - Last year, the Second Circuit issued an opinion in Ony, Inc. v. Cornerstone Therapeutics, Inc., a...more

Court Upholds Executive’s Conviction Stemming from Off-Label Drug Promotion

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has upheld the wire fraud and misbranding convictions and sentence of InterMune Inc. founder W. Scott Harkonen. United States v. Harkonen, No. 11-10209 (9th Cir. March 4, 2013)....more

Ninth Circuit Affirms Prosecution for Off-label Marketing

Over the past two years, courts began to recognize that at least some off-label marketing is protected lawful commercial speech under the First Amendment. Specifically, the Second Circuit in New York in a case called United...more

Second Circuit Vacates Pharmaceutical Misbranding Conviction on Free Speech Grounds

After two years of deliberation, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals has finally issued its decision in United States v. Caronia, holding that the government cannot prosecute pharmaceutical manufacturers or their...more

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