U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Standing Requirement to Bring False Advertising Claim

Intellectual Property   |   June 3, 2013

In certain states, only an actual competitor may bring a false advertising claim under the Lanham Act.  This may soon change.  On June 3, 2013, in Lexmark International Inc. v. Static Control Components Inc. (Case No. 12-873), the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit holding that a non-competitor has standing to allege a claim of false advertising under the Lanham Act. The parties are Lexmark International, Inc. (“Lexmark”) and Static Control Components, Inc. (“Static Control”).

Lexmark asserted various copyright and patent infringement claims against Static Control related to, among other things, Static Control’s manufacture and sale of microchips used by remanufacturers of toner cartridges for Lexmark’s laser printers. As one of its counterclaims, Static Control asserted false advertising under the Lanham Act, alleging that Lexmark falsely informed customers that Static Control’s products infringed Lexmark’s purported intellectual property, thus damaging Static Control’s business and reputation. The Sixth Circuit determined Static Control had standing to bring such a claim, even though Static Control was not a laser printer manufacturer and therefore not a direct competitor.

The Sixth Circuit held that a claimant has standing if it can demonstrate (1) a “reasonable interest” to be protected against the alleged false advertising and (2) a reasonable basis for believing that the interest is likely to be damaged by the alleged false advertising. While this standard is also applied by the Second Circuit, it contrasts with the standard used by the Seventh, Ninth, and Tenth circuits which permits Lanham Act suits only by an actual competitor.  The Third, Fifth, Eighth, and Eleventh circuits follow yet another standard. By granting the petition for writ of certiorari, the U.S. Supreme Court will hopefully resolve the disagreement among the United States circuit courts as to who has standing to sue for a false advertising claim.

©2024 Carlton Fields, P.A. Carlton Fields practices law in California through Carlton Fields, LLP. Carlton Fields publications should not be construed as legal advice on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general information and educational purposes only, and should not be relied on as if it were advice about a particular fact situation. The distribution of this publication is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship with Carlton Fields. This publication may not be quoted or referred to in any other publication or proceeding without the prior written consent of the firm, to be given or withheld at our discretion. To request reprint permission for any of our publications, please use our Contact Us form via the link below. The views set forth herein are the personal views of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the firm. This site may contain hypertext links to information created and maintained by other entities. Carlton Fields does not control or guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this outside information, nor is the inclusion of a link to be intended as an endorsement of those outside sites.

Subscribe to Publications


The information on this website is presented as a service for our clients and Internet users and is not intended to be legal advice, nor should you consider it as such. Although we welcome your inquiries, please keep in mind that merely contacting us will not establish an attorney-client relationship between us. Consequently, you should not convey any confidential information to us until a formal attorney-client relationship has been established. Please remember that electronic correspondence on the internet is not secure and that you should not include sensitive or confidential information in messages. With that in mind, we look forward to hearing from you.