POM Wonderful sued Coca-Cola under the Lanham Act claiming that it suffered losses due to the misleading label on Coca-Cola’s Minute Maid brand’s Pomegranate Blueberry juice blend. Reversing the Ninth Circuit’s decision in June 2014, the Supreme Court found that POM’s claim was not precluded even though the label was regulated by the FDCA. In fact, the Court acknowledged the complementary nature of private enforcement with FDA regulation, as it did in Wyeth v. Levine in 2009. This Article submits that POM exemplifies the Court’s willingness to strengthen the Lanham Act’s protections against misleading labeling, as it did the same year in Lexmark International, Inc. v. Static Control Components, Inc. This Article also characterizes POM as an endorsement of an integrated regulation scheme with private claims for commercial losses due to false or misleading labeling serving to complement FDA regulation. By combining private enforcement with FDA regulation, this Article proposes that POM will ultimately benefit consumers and competitors by demanding greater accuracy in food and beverage labeling.
The Lanham Act's Wonderful Complement to the FDCA: POM Wonderful v.Coca-Cola Enhances Protection Against Misleading Labeling Through Integrated Regulation,
Loy. U. Chi. L. J.
Available at: https://lawecommons.luc.edu/luclj/vol47/iss1/8