Articles Posted in False Advertising

Eli Lilly and Company, a leader in pharmaceutical innovation for nearly 150 years, has filed legal complaints against more than six medical spas and wellness centers for selling products that claim to contain Tirzepatide, the active ingredient in its popular diabetes and weight loss medications, MOUNJARO® and ZEPBOUND®. The complaints allege multiple infringements under federal and state laws, aimed at safeguarding patients from deceptive practices surrounding the FDA-approved medications.Pic

According to the suits, MOUNJARO® and ZEPBOUND ® were developed through rigorous clinical trials and FDA approval processes. However, Lilly claims that the drugs offered by the Defendants in the cases are compounded products—neither tested nor approved by the FDA.

The lawsuit contends that the Defendants have deliberately misled consumers by creating the false impression that their products are equivalent to Lilly’s MOUNJARO® and ZEPBOUND®. This deception is allegedly propagated through deceptive advertising, including the use of Lilly’s trademarks without authorization, and misleading claims about the safety and approval status of their compounded drugs.

Eli Lilly and Company has reached a settlement with Totality Medispa, a South Carolina-based medical spa, after filing lawsuits in late 2023. The agreement requires Totality Medispa to pay a monetary amount and stop misleading consumers about selling Lilly’s popular, FDA-approved, diabetes and weight-loss treatments, tirzepatide, Mounjaro® or Zepbound®.

Pic-300x92Eli Lilly is the only authorized supplier of FDA-approved tirzepatide medicines in the U.S. and does not provide tirzepatide’s active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) to any compounding pharmacies. Any product labeled as “tirzepatide” that is not sold by Lilly is not FDA-approved and could be dangerous.

Because Eli Lilly places patient safety at the forefront, the company has been alarmed by the dangers of Totality Medispa’s products being falsely marketed as FDA-approved tirzepatide, Mounjaro®, or Zepbound®. These counterfeit products have not been reviewed by the FDA or any global regulatory bodies, posing serious health risks to patients.

Crawfordsville, Indiana – Plaintiff, Banjo Corporation (formerly known as Terra-Knife and Terra-Products) is suing Fontanet, Indiana company, Green Leaf, Inc. (also known as TerreMax) for Trademark infringement under 15 U.S.C. § 1114(1), unfair competition, use of false designations of origin and false advertising under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a); as well as infringement and unfair competition under Indiana common law.

Valve-300x245According to the complaint, Banjo is a leading business in the development and sales of commercial, industrial, and agricultural products, and is most widely known for its valves that regulate the flow of liquids in hoses and pipes.  It claims its customers identify these valves by their distinctive yellow handle that is sold on all 150 types of control valves that they sell.  Court documents show that Banjo has received a Trademark registration (No. 6,600,065) for the Yellow Handle Design specifically for “liquid handling products for commercial, industrial and agricultural use, namely control valves for regulating the flow of liquids in hoses and pipes.”

The Plaintiff alleges that Green Leaf, who sells similar valves but with green handles, recently hired two Banjo employees, and has launched a new division of its company called, TerreMax, which is not only very close in name to Banjo’s previous company names, Terre Knife and Terre Products, but it has also begun selling a line of control valves that have handles in the exact shade of yellow that Banjo uses for their product.  The complaint claims that Green Leaf is acting “in a deliberate effort to encourage false associations with Banjo,” through its name change, handle color, and advertisements which point customers away from Banjo and toward Green Leaf’s nearly identical product.

BlogPhoto-150x150Fort Wayne, Indiana –The Plaintiff, Roller Ready, LLC, filed suit against Defendants, LA Systems, LLC d/b/a Monkey Rung and Paul Kiley for participating in false marketing practices, violating the Indiana Deceptive Trade Practices Act, engaging in unfair competition under Indiana common law, and infringing on Roller Ready’s trademark.

Roller Ready, LLC is a company that manufactures and sells rollers for various purposes, including painting, cleaning, and home improvement projects.  Roller Ready was founded in 2013 by a group of entrepreneurs who identified a need for a more efficient and effective way to clean paint rollers.  The founders developed a new product that would allow users to clean paint rollers quickly and easily.  The product, called the Roller Ready System, is a self-contained unit that allows users to clean paint rollers with a minimal amount of water and effort.

Monkey Rung is a product development company that is marketed by LA Systems, LLC which is owned and operated by Paul Kiley.

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BTL-Photo-300x258Indianapolis, Indiana –The Plaintiff, BTL Industries, Inc.  filed suit against Defendant, JV Medical Supplies, Inc.  for  trademark infringement,  false advertising and patent infringement.

BTL Industries, founded in 1993, is a leading manufacturer of non-invasive medical devices that are used for cosmetic and therapeutic purposes. The company holds several patents and trademarks related to its products, including its flagship product, the EMSCULPT device. The EMSCULPT is a non-invasive medical device designed to stimulate muscle contraction using electromagnetic energy. The device is used for body contouring, muscle strengthening, and rehabilitation. The FDA has cleared EMSCULPT for non-invasive treatment for the abdomen, buttocks, arms, calves and thighs.

JV Medical Supplies, a competitor of BTL Industries, also manufactures a similar medical device called the Muscle Stimulator. The Muscle Stimulator is marketed and sold as a non-invasive device that uses electromagnetic energy to stimulate muscle contraction, and it is intended for use in body contouring and muscle strengthening applications. The Indiana Secretary of State indicates that the corporation was created in 2021.

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MaddenBlogPhoto-300x124Evansville, Indiana – The Plaintiff, MaddenCo, Inc.  (“MaddenCo”) filed suit against former employees, James Reed (“Reed”) and Dru Darby (“Darby”) along with their new employer HG Autotech LLC (“HG Autotech”) for Breach of Contract, Breach of Fiduciary Duties, Tortious Interference, Copyright Infringement, False Advertising, False Representations, False Designations of Origin, Reverse Passing Off and Unfair Competition.

Per Plaintiff’s website, MaddenCo is a privately held family business and has been for over 40 years. They develop and support integrated software systems for tire dealers and truck stop service centers. MaddenCo provides systems for retail, wholesale, commercial and retreading operations for independent tire dealers, and retail and commercial solutions for service centers for truck stops, with full integration to their own accounts payable and general ledger solutions. MaddenCo owns Copyright Registration Number TX0009171151 entitled “The Tire Dealer System” with an effective registration date of August 26, 2022.

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Blog-Photo-1Indianapolis, Indiana – Apparently Brumate, LLC (“Brumate”), the Plaintiff, designs and sells insulated beverage containers, including an insulated tumbler/can holder, the HOPSULATOR®, and an insulated wine bottle, the WINESULATOR®. Brumate claims to have acquired trade dress rights in its HOPSULATOR® product design (“HOPSULATOR Trade Dress”). According to the Complaint, Frost Buddy, LLC (“Frost Buddy”), the Defendant, is selling a knockoff product that incorporates the HOPSULATOR Trade Dress. Brumate also claims Frost Buddy has engaged in deceptive advertising with regard to Brumate’s HOPSULATOR® and WINESULATOR® products.

Brumate is seeking damages for trade dress infringement, false advertising, and unfair competition pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a). Further, Brumate claims Frost Buddy committed deception in violation of I.C. § 35-43-5-3 and unfair competition under Indiana common law.

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Hammond, IndianaNexus Staffing, Inc. (“Nexus Staffing”), the Plaintiff, claims Nexus Employment Solutions Plus of Indiana, Inc. (“Nexus Employment”), the Defendant, intentionally infringed its rights in U.S. Trademark Registration No. 4,722,627 for the word “NEXUS” in connection with employment recruiting and professional staffing services. According to the Complaint, Nexus Staffing has used the NEXUS Mark in connection with staffing and employment services throughout the United States since at least 2005.

Nexus Staffing claims it sent a cease and desist letter to Nexus Employment in July 2018, but Nexus Employment took no action to cease its use of its allegedly confusingly similar name. Nexus Staffing further claims actual consumer confusion has occurred and is likely to continue if Nexus Employment continues using the NEXUS Mark. Based on the allegations, Nexus Staffing is seeking damages for intentional trademark infringement, false advertising, and cyberpiracy, all under the Lanham Act.

The case was assigned to District Judge Theresa L. Springmann and Magistrate Judge Joshua P. Kolar in the Northern District and assigned Case 2:20-cv-00166-TLS-JPK.

Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, Baby Merlin Company of Uwchland, Pennsylvania originally filed suit in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania alleging that Defendants, CribCulture, LLC of Indianapolis,BlogPhoto-300x78 Indiana and Isaiah Blackburn of Westfield, Indiana infringed its rights in the United States Trademark Registration Nos. 4,271,544, 3,486,179, and 5,006,620 (the “Registered Marks”) for marks including the MAGIC SLEEPSUIT. Since then, the case has been transferred to the Southern District of Indiana. Plaintiff is seeking punitive and monetary damages, attorneys’ fees, and costs.

Baby Merlin’s founder conceived of or invented the MAGIC SLEEPSUIT® (the “Sleepsuit”), a swaddle-transition-sleep-product, in 2002. The Sleepsuit helps babies from three months to nine months sleep better by keeping them cozy and secure while transitioning from a swaddle to traditional sleep clothing. A mother, also a pediatric physical therapist, designed and created the Sleepsuit at issue in this case for her own children. After success with her own babies, the Baby Merlin Company was created, and it began selling the Sleepsuit in 2008.

Plaintiff claims that in 2017, Defendants copied key features of the Sleepsuit and introduced a competing product while unlawfully using the Registered Marks or marks similar to the Registered Marks. In one example of misuse, Defendants used “Baby Merlin Sleep Suit” in a blog post on their website that included a link to Baby Merlin’s website. In another example of confusingly similar uses, Defendants uses the word “SLEEPSUIT” on their packaging using a larger font for that word than any other word on the package. Further, Baby Merlin claims Defendants have used a variety of false and misleading statements about their product and Baby Merlin’s products in their advertising.

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