On the Internet, there are a variety of types of false advertising. As examples, a company may be engaging in false advertising if it makes false statements about a competitor, or if it makes false statements about its own products or services.
The concept of false advertising appears in a variety of federal and state laws. Generally under these laws, "false advertising" refers to a representation or omission that is likely to mislead a consumer who is acting reasonably under the circumstances. These state and federal laws exist to protect consumers from being misled as well as protect competitors from inaccurate statements that would tarnish their brands, goods, or services.
Private Litigation to Address False Advertising. If a competitor steps over the line and engages in false advertising, there are remedies available under federal and state laws. Injunctive relief (i.e. a permanent judicial order to cease and desist from certain activities deemed to be false advertising), actual damages in the form of disgorgement of profits, and monetary amounts to fund corrective advertising are examples of potential remedies against competitors who engage in false advertising. Consumers also have standing to sue under most state false advertising statutes.
Kronenberger Rosenfeld has experience litigating unique Internet-related false advertising cases, and we would be happy to discuss any Internet false advertising issues that you may have.
Government Enforcement. At the federal level, the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") is the agency responsible for investigating false advertising and prosecuting actions against false advertisers. At the state level, state attorneys general take the lead role in such investigations and prosecutions. Kronenberger Rosenfeld has experience representing clients who are under FTC or state attorney general investigations and working with these government organizations to achieve fast and sensible solutions.
For additional details on Internet false advertising matters, you can call Kronenberger Rosenfeld at 415-955-1155, ext. 120. Or you can submit your matter to us now using our online case submission form.
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