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Unfair Competition Law

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A guide to nutritional supplements that professed to be neutral but was allegedly favorable to a competing manufacturer that paid it handsomely for high rankings was commercial speech, largely because the manufacturer's payments gave the guide an economic motivation (apart from merely selling guides) to make the speech.  The guide also made false statements insofar as it denied plaintiff's products… Read More

The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act does not preempt state law requirements for dietary supplements that do not differ from those promulgated under the FDCA. So a plaintiff can bring a UCL action against a dietary supplement supplier for failing to substantiate its advertising or labeling claim about the supplement's structure or function--except that while the FDCA and FDA… Read More

California's automatic renewal law, B&P Code 17600 et seq. requires a consumer’s affirmative consent to any subscription agreement automatically renewed for a new term when the initial term ends as well as “clear and conspicuous” disclosure of the offer terms, and an “easy-to-use mechanism for cancellation.  However, this decision holds that the law's provision that "all available civil remedies that… Read More

Bus. & Prof. Code 17204 and 17207 confer standing on district attorneys to sue under the UCL for restitution and civil penalties in the name of the people of the State of California.  A district attorney may obtain all allowed forms of relief--injunction, restitution and civil penalties--statewide at least so long some of the violations occurred in the county which… Read More

Plaintiff's evidence, if believed by a fact-finder, would have supported the contention that defendant's ginkgo-infused pills had no mind-sharpening properties, contrary to defendant's advertising claims; so defendant was not entitled to summary judgment. Read More

Plaintiff’s unfair competition claim was pre-empted by FDA regulations governing how the defendant should calculate the protein content of its product, but plaintiff’s similar false advertising claim was not preempted because it accused the defendant of misrepresenting the source of the protein in the product. Read More

Plaintiff stated viable causes of action under the unfair competition and false advertising laws, and for breach of warranty, by stating that Bayer's One-A-Day vitamins are mislabeled—two a day is required to meet recommended daily allowances for most vitamins. Read More

A defendant, against whom a district attorney had filed an unfair competition action, was not entitled to a transfer of the case to a “neutral” county—i.e., a county other than the DA’s county. Read More

The payment of money for a product that the plaintiff would not have purchased but for the false advertising—here, presenting products with a fake list price crossed out and an invented “discount” alongside—is sufficient economic injury to confer standing to sue under the unfair competition law, false advertising law, and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act. Read More

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