Commercial Speech First Amendment

News & Analysis as of

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

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

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

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

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

Spirit Airlines v. U.S. Dep’t of Transportation

Brief Of Amici Curiae CATO Institute And The National Federation Of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center In Support...

It is axiomatic that the freedom of speech is vitally important to our democratic society and that being able to criticize the government is at the core of this freedom. Yet government officials are constantly inventing new...more

Second Circuit Vacates Misbranding Conviction for Pharmaceutical Representative on First Amendment Grounds

In United States v. Caronia, No. 09-5006-cr, slip op. (2d Cir. Dec. 3, 2012), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that "the government cannot prosecute pharmaceutical manufacturers and their representatives...more

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