U.S. Supreme Court

Case Status


Docket Number


2013 Term

Oral Argument Date

April 21, 2014


Questions Presented

Whether the court of appeals erred in holding that a private party cannot bring a Lanham Act claim challenging a product label regulated under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Case Updates

Supreme Court reverses and remands Ninth Circuit judgement on Lanham Act

June 12, 2014

The Court held that competitors may bring Lanham Act claims alleging unfair competition from false or misleading product descriptions on food and beverage labels regulated by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The judgment of the Ninth Circuit is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings.

U.S. Chamber files amicus brief

April 02, 2014

In the coalition brief, the Chamber asked the Supreme Court to uphold the Ninth Circuit’s ruling and affirm the Lanham Act. The Chamber argued that permitting the petitioner to continue its challenge to the respondent’s labeling of its juice would defeat Congress’s goals in delegating broad, nationwide food-labeling authority to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938 (FDCA). The brief points out that since 1938, the FDA has exercised broad prescriptive food-labeling authority for the benefit of consumers. Congress has also ensured that food manufacturers can rely on compliance with FDA regulations to market their products free from challenge under state law or other private actions that may seek to enforce, directly or indirectly, the misbranding standards of the FDCA by imposing judicial interpretations that differ from FDA’s regulatory positions. The Chamber added that the petitioner’s claim regarding the prominence of certain words on the label, as well as its challenge to the size of certain graphics on the label seek to impose requirements that are different from and also in addition to FDA regulations.

The Chamber filed the brief jointly with the Grocery Manufacturers Association.

Bert W. Rein, William S. Consovoy and Samuel B. Gedge of Wiley Rein LLP represented the U.S. Chamber as co-counsel to the National Chamber Litigation Center in this case.

Case Documents