Lexmark International, Inc. v. Static Control Components, Inc.

Summarized by:

  • Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
  • Area(s) of Law: Standing
  • Date Filed: June 3, 2013
  • Case #: 12-873
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: 697 F.3d 387 (6th Cir. 2012)
  • Full Text Opinion

Whether the appropriate standard to determine standing in an action for false advertising is (1) the factors found in Associated General Contractors of California, Inc. v. California State Council of Carpenters; (2) the categorical test which permits suits only by an actual competitor; or (3) the "reasonable interest" test.

Respondent alleged that Petitioner violated the Lanham Act by engaging in false advertising. Respondent alleged that Petitioner falsely informed customers of patent infringement and led Respondent's customers to think Respondent was engaged in illegal activity. These rumors damaged Respondent's business and reputation. The lower court found that Respondent lacked standing and dismissed the action.

On appeal, the Circuit Court affirmed all of the lower courts claims with the exception of the Lanham Act claim. The court held that Respondent sufficiently alleged a Lanham Act claim and reversed. The court used the "reasonable interest" test to determine standing. Under this test a claimant need only demonstrate "a likelihood of injury and causation," not actual losses. Respondent showed a significant interest in its business reputation and that those interests were harmed by Petitioner's actions. Petitioner appealed.

The Supreme Court granted certiorari to determine whether the appropriate standard to determine standing in an action for false advertising is (1) the factors found in Associated General Contractors of California, Inc. v. California State Council of Carpenters; (2) the categorical test which permits suits only by an actual competitor; or (3) the "reasonable interest" test.

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