The Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion in the highly anticipated dispute between Pom Wonderful and Coca-Cola.

The Petitioner, Pom Wonderful, LLC (“POM”), is a grower of pomegranates, distributor of pomegranate juices, and markets pomegranate products, including a pomegranate-blueberry juice blend. Pom competes in the pomegranate juice market with The Coca-Cola Company (“Coca-Cola”) Minute Maid® products. Id. Coca-Cola created a juice blend containing 0.3% pomegranate juice, 0.2% blueberry juice, 0.1% raspberry juice and the remaining 99.4% a combination of apple and grape juices. Id. at 6. The labeling displays prominently “pomegranate blueberry” in large capital lettering accompanied in much smaller type by “flavored blend of 5 juices” and in much smaller type “from concentrate with added ingredients” and “and other natural flavors.” Id. The wording is supported by imagery featuring a halved pomegranate accompanied by blueberries, apples, grapes and raspberries. Id.

Pom sued Coca-Cola under the Lanham Act for unfair competition arising from false and misleading product descriptions. Pom alleged loss of sales due to the name, label, marketing and advertising of Coca-Cola’s pomegranate-blueberry juice blends because they mislead consumers into believing the product predominantly contains those juices when in fact they were largely composed of less expensive juices, such as apple or grape. The District Court granted partial summary judgment for Coca-Cola, on the basis that the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) precluded the Lanham Act challenge and the Ninth Circuit affirmed in relevant part.…