Last week, Judge Liman granted in part plaintiff ChromaDex’s motion for summary judgment on part of defendant Elysium’s counterclaim for false advertising under the Lanham Act. The case arose from a dispute between the two competitors over the sale of nutritional products claiming to improve cellular health and cellular aging. Elysium argued that statements made by a blogger regarding ChromaDex’s product were false, and should be attributable to ChromaDex under the Lanham Act, because the blogger was a ChromaDex shareholder who was paid by ChromaDex for referring customers. ChromaDex argued that it was not liable for statements that appeared on a third-party blog, regardless of whether they were false, material, or caused injury, because the statements did not constitute “advertising or promotion,” as required under the Lanham Act.
Judge Liman agreed with ChromaDex, finding that Elysium had not presented evidence that ChromaDex had an agency relationship with Shelly Albaum, the blogger. Furthermore, Judge Liman found that Elysium had not presented evidence that ChromaDex controlled the content of Albaum’s blog. Elysium cited to an email between a ChromaDex executive (Jaksch) and Albaum regarding whether the executive wanted Albaum to post a certain article. Judge Liman concluded:
Continue Reading Judge Liman: Blogger-Shareholder Touting a Company’s Product Was Not Its Agent for Purposes of Lanham Act