By Memorandum Opinion entered by The Honorable Richard G. Andrews in Halosil Int’l, Inc. et al. v. Eco-Evolutions, Inc. et al., Civil Action No. 18-1375-RGA (D.Del. July 14, 2020), the Court granted Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment after finding that no reasonable jury could conclude that Defendants’ advertisements were literally false and Plaintiffs’ breach of contact claim was time-barred.
With respect to the false advertising claim, Plaintiff alleged that Defendants were liable under Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act, which prohibits false or misleading advertisements about a product. Id. at *6. Plaintiffs contended that Defendants’ statements were “literally false.” Id. Significantly, under the literally false theory, Plaintiffs are not required to show that the buying public was actually misled. Id. A court, in deciding whether an advertising claim is literally false, “must decide first whether the claim conveys an unambiguous message and second whether that unambiguous message is false. Only an unambiguous message can be literally false.” Id.
After analyzing the alleged false statements made in the promotional brochure for the subject product, the Court found that no reasonable jury could conclude that Defendants’ statements were literally false. Id. at *6-9. Accordingly, the Court granted summary judgment in Defendants’ favor.
A copy of the Memorandum Opinion is attached.