Category Archives: defamation

statements by competitors are not matters of public interest

Broadspring, Inc. v. Congoo, LLC, 2014 WL 7392905, No. 13–CV–1866 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 29, 2014)   As part of resolving various evidentiary issues before trial between these online advertising service competitors, the court gave guidance on some more general false advertising … Continue reading

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Stay away from Juliet: keyword infringement and dilution case continues

Romeo & Juliette Laser Hair Removal, Inc. v. Assara I, LLC, No. 08-CV-442, 2014 BL 263647 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 23, 2014) A keyword case gets past the pleading stage (though the worst part is the dilution ruling).  The parties compete in … Continue reading

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Paid spokesperson engaged in "advertising or promotion" for Lanham Act purposes

Underground Solutions, Inc. v. Palermo, 2014 WL 4703925, No. 13 C 8407  (N.D. Ill. Sept. 22, 2014)   UGSI sued Palermo for trade libel, interference with prospective economic advantage, interference with contract, false advertising under the Lanham Act, and violation … Continue reading

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overstating competitor’s relationship with FTC target could be defamatory

Broadspring, Inc. v. Congoo, LLC, 2014 WL 4100615, No. 13–CV–1866 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 20, 2014) (by my classmate, the Honorable Jesse Furman) “This is a lawsuit between bitter rivals in the online advertising industry.” Broadspring sued Congoo and two of its … Continue reading

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business tort review: Lanham Act doesn’t cover all commercial defamation

In my advertising law class, I teach that common-law business torts are both broader and narrower than the Lanham Act.  Here we have examples of both features: the scienter requirement and the lack of limitation to “commercial advertising and promotion.” … Continue reading

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false advertising about design in the absence of secondary meaning?

Brian Lichtenberg, LLC v. Alex & Chloe, Inc., No. CV 13–06837, 2014 WL 3698317 (C.D. Cal. July 25, 2014) Brian Lichtenberg (Brian) designs clothing and accessories, including parodies of designer brands, such as “Homiès” as a play on “Hermès” and … Continue reading

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New article: More than a Feeling: Emotion and the First Amendment

127 Harv. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2014). Abstract: First Amendment law has generally been leery of government attempts to change the marketplace of emotions—except when it has not been. Scientific evidence indicates that emotion and rationality are not opposed, as the … Continue reading

Posted in commercial speech, defamation, dilution, disclosures, first amendment, my writings, trademark | Leave a comment

What does Lexmark mean for the "commercial advertising or promotion" test?

Goodman v. Does 1–10, No. 4:13–CV–139, 2014 WL 1310310 (E.D.N.C. Mar. 28, 2014) The first post-Lexmarkopinion I’ve seen, and a thoughtful one at that. The complaint alleged various defamation and unfair competition claims based on postings on a website,, … Continue reading

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Texas anti-SLAPP law doesn’t protect lawyer’s ads

NCDR, L.L.C. v. Mauze & Bagby, P.L.L.C., 2014 WL 941049, — F.3d —- (5th Cir. Mar. 11, 2014) M&B, a Texas law firm, solicited former dental patients from plaintiff Kool Smiles’ dental clinics as potential clients.  Allegedly, “M&B ran television, … Continue reading

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Price claims are puffery, but fake Facebook page could be actionable

Imagine Medispa, LLC v. Transformations, Inc., 2014 WL 770810, No. 2:13–26923 (S.D. W. Va. Feb. 26, 2014) The parties compete in the medical weight-loss and skin care industry, in overlapping geographic areas. Plaintiff David Rubio owns Imagine. Plaintiffs alleged that … Continue reading

Posted in defamation,, right of publicity, tortious interference, trademark | Leave a comment