Oral arguments concluded on Monday, April 21, 2014,  in the POM v. Coke (Dkt. No. 12-761) case pending before the United States Supreme Court.  Click here to read what experts had to say about the arguments.  To recap, POM originally challenged Coke’s marketing for Minute Maid “Pomegranate Blueberry” fruit juice blend.  POM filed a Lanham Act claim alleging that Coke’s label misled consumers because the product actually contained “less than an eyedropper” of pomegranate or blueberry juice.  Coke argued that the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act preempts Lanham Act claims and, so, POM could not challenge the name of the Coke product.  According to Coke, because the FDA regulations would permit the “Blueberry Pomegranate” name, POM’s Lanham Act challenge encroached on the FDA’s role as an ultimate regulator of NLEA labeling statements.  Coke succeeded before the Ninth Circuit and convinced the panel that interpretation of certain labeling statements fell exclusively to the FDA.  Now before the Supreme Court, POM’s case will clarify whether competitors can maintain federal claims for misleading labeling statements that are also regulated under the federal scheme.

Peter Arhangelsky, a principal in the firm’s Arizona office, commented on the April 21, 2014 oral arguments presented by POM, Coke, and the United States as an amicus curiae.  He found the Justices’ approach consistent with well-established principles of advertising law.  Read the full article here:

Elaine Watson, “POM v. Coke at the Supreme Court:  Who came out on top?” www.nutraingredients-usa.com (Apr. 21, 2014)

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