Vital Proteins LLC v. Ancient Brands, LLC

Full title: VITAL PROTEINS LLC, Plaintiff, v. ANCIENT BRANDS, LLC D/B/A ANCIENT…

Court: United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois

Case no: 22 C 02265

Date published: Jan 11, 2023

Facts:

  • Vital Proteins LLC, a seller of collagen peptides supplements, has sued Ancient Brands, LLC for false advertising and unfair competition under federal and Illinois laws.
  • Vital alleges that Ancient’s product labels and advertising materials contain false and/or misleading statements regarding the temporal efficacy of several products and the ingredient composition of one product.
  • Vital seeks injunctive and monetary relief as a competitor in the market.

Issue:

  • Constitutional and Statutory Standing:
    • Whether Vital has standing under Article III of the Constitution and statutory standing under the Lanham Act.
    • Whether Vital has plausibly alleged injury traceable to Ancient’s allegedly false statements.
  • False Statements:
    • Whether Vital has adequately alleged that Ancient’s statements are literally false or implicitly convey a false impression, are misleading in context, or likely to deceive consumers.

Decision:

  • Constitutional and Statutory Standing:
    • The court finds that Vital’s alleged injuries are sufficient to satisfy the standards for constitutional and statutory standing. Vital sufficiently alleges harm to its business, reputation, goodwill, sales, and profits due to Ancient’s false/misleading claims.
  • False Statements:
    • The court denies Ancient’s motion to dismiss as Vital’s allegations regarding the explicit falsehood of Ancient’s timing-related statements are deemed sufficient. Additionally, the court finds that Vital’s claims regarding Ancient’s labeling of collagen quantity in its Vegetarian Collagen Peptides product are plausible and therefore denies Ancient’s motion to dismiss on this claim as well.

Final Summary:

The main thrust of the case was whether Vital had standing to bring its claims and whether it adequately alleged that Ancient’s statements were false or misleading. The court ruled in favor of Vital on both counts, allowing the case to proceed.

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