Thursday, November 10, 2005

Pleading requirements and Lanham Act claims

Is a false advertising claim under the Lanham Act subject to the heightened pleading requirements for fraud under the Federal Rules? Judge Joyner of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania considered this surprisingly unlitigated question in H.H. Fluourescent Parts, Inc. v. DM Technology & Energy, Inc., 2005 WL 2972986. Citing a handful of other cases, Judge Joyner ruled that Lanham Act false advertising counterclaims are not purely fraud claims and thus need only satisfy the "short and plain statement" requirement of Rule 8, rather than the heightened pleading requirement of Rule 9.

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