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Regulating Communications

Ariix, LLC v. NutriSearch Corp.


Ariix, LLC v. NutriSearch Corp. (U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, January 22, 2021): Nutritional supplement maker Ariix LLC could pursue a false advertising suit against NutriSearch Corp., a guidebook publisher, over allegedly rigged ratings in favor of a competitor, ruled the 9th Circuit. Ariix argued that NutriSearch, a supposedly independent publisher, was paid to favor certain products over Ariix’s products, causing it to improperly prevent Arixx from obtaining top medal certification in NutriSearch’s Guide. NutriSearch argued the guide was protected by the First Amendment. The court reasoned that the Guide constituted commercial speech, without full First Amendment protection, because economic motivation involves direct and indirect benefits. Ariix’s argument that the Guide was published with the economic goal of benefitting from its sales was sufficient to plausibly claim it constituted commercial speech. Read the decision here.

View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – March 15, 2021.

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