On March 23, 2016, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that a false advertising/false association claim under Lanham Act Section 43(a) (15 U.S.C. §1125(a)) need not be premised upon the ownership of United States trademark registration or even use of a mark in the United States. A §43(a) claim is available to “[a]ny person who believes that he is or will be damaged” as a result of a defendant’s activities. Thus, the question under §43(a) is not whether the defendant’s activities infringe the plaintiff’s registered mark; rather, the question is whether the defendant has used in commerce a word, term, name, or symbol that plaintiff believes is likely to cause it damage.
View Attachment (PDF)