In June, the Ninth Circuit handed down its opinion in Pom Wonderful LLC v. The Coca-Cola Co., 679 F.3d 1170 (9th Cir. 2012), discussed in this blog post. Pom sued Coca-Cola for allegedly mislabeling its "pomegranate blueberry" juice, which according to the lawsuit actually consists mostly of grape and apple juices. The Ninth Circuit allowed Pom's state-law claims, including its UCL claim, to proceed, but found the Lanham Act claims barred.
In December, Pom filed a cert. petition with the U.S. Supreme Court. POM Wonderful LLC v. The Coca Cola Co., No. 12-761 (U.S.). The case was distributed for conference on March 22, 2013, and on March 25, the Court invited the Solicitor General to file a brief. This development suggests some interest in the case.
Pom Wonderful is mainly a Lanham Act case, but its UCL holdings are important, as the Court of Appeal recently recognized in Law Offices of Mathew Higbee v. Expungement Assistance Services, ___ Cal.App.4th ___ (Mar. 14, 2013) (discussed here). This is the question presented, according to the cert. petition:
Whether the court of appeals erred in holding that a private party cannot bring a Lanham Act claim challenging a product label regulated under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.