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Blog

Fish's Cynthia Walden Quoted in World Trademark Review Article "Navigating a Complex Advertising Environment"

September 19, 2016

Blog

Fish's Cynthia Walden Quoted in World Trademark Review Article "Navigating a Complex Advertising Environment"

September 19, 2016

Back to Fish's Trademark and Copyright Blog

 

In June, Trademark and Copyright Practice Group Leader, Cynthia Walden, participated in a World Trademark Review Roundtable on “Navigating a Complex Advertising Environment.”

From a legal perspective, what are the most common mistakes made in advertising campaigns in your jurisdictions?

Cynthia Walden (CW): In the United States, the most common mistakes revolve around claims that are false, misleading or made without proper authorisation or substantiation. False advertising enforcement actions are quick to follow when ads include statements that are literally false about the nature or qualities of the product or services being advertised (eg, claiming that something is fat free when it is not or that it is from a specific geographic area when it is not), but also when claims are implicitly false (ie, a particular claim may be literally true, but when taken in the context of the ad as a whole – including other images or text – it may still create a misleading impression about the nature of performance of a product or service). 

Another common mistake is failing to obtain authorisation for the use of thirdparty trademarks or copyright-protected materials. With respect to images, this would include not only ensuring that the right to use a photograph has been secured, but also that appropriate permissions have been secured from any featured individuals to avoid any right of publicity claims. All claims must be substantiated with objective evidence and appropriate disclaimers – this is particularly true for comparative claims. Having a set process for the legal review of all ads before they are published is the best way to avoid these mistakes.

To read the full article from World Trademark Review, click here.

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Cynthia Johnson Walden | Principal

Cynthia Walden is a Principal in Fish & Richardson’s Boston office, and the firm’s Trademark and Copyright Practice Group Leader. Ms. Walden is well-known for providing insightful and business minded advice to clients on all aspects of brand protection and...

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