Bethesda, MD - Schulman Bhattacharya, an international law firm based in the Washington, D.C. area, has announced its recent victory in a false advertising lawsuit in Wisconsin federal court. The firm secured a summary judgment for ExeGi Pharma, LLC and its probiotic product, Visbiome, against competitor Brookfield Pharmaceuticals, LLC.
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin granted ExeGi’s motion for partial summary judgment, finding Brookfield liable on ExeGi's false advertising claims under the Lanham Act. The court found that Brookfield made false statements about its product, “High Potency Probiotic” (HPP), which were literally false as a matter of law. The statements falsely compared HPP to Visbiome, which is composed of a heralded eight-strain probiotic blend created by Professor Claudio De Simone.
In entering the Permanent Injunction, Judge J.P. Stadtmueller noted that ExeGi “prevailed in part on the merits of its claims under federal law for false advertising and under Wisconsin law for unfair competition,” and that without injunctive relief, ExeGi would suffer irreparable harm. As such, Judge Stadtmueller ordered Brookfield and its agents and affiliates to refrain from making false claims comparing HPP to Visbiome in any communication directed at or readily accessible to consumers or intermediaries in the chain of distribution.
Additionally, the court ordered Brookfield to send corrective letters to all consumers and intermediaries within 14 days of the injunction, stating that HPP is not the generic equivalent of Visbiome, does not contain the same strains, and does not contain the same probiotic bacteria as Visbiome.
Jeremy Schulman, Jeffrey Gavenman, and Jake Schaller represented ExeGi in the case and will proceed to trial to determine monetary damages. The court will also decide whether Brookfield’s claim that HPP is the “generic” of Visbiome is literally false, and ExeGi’s cause of action against Brookfield for tortious interference.
“We are very pleased with the court’s decision to grant our motion for partial summary judgment and enter a permanent injunction against Brookfield,” said Jeremy Schulman, partner at Schulman Bhattacharya. “Our clients, Professor De Simone and ExeGi, have worked hard to develop Visbiome into the gold standard for high potency probiotic products, and Brookfield’s false advertising has caused significant harm to their business. This injunction will help ensure that ExeGi can continue to grow its business without unfair competition from Brookfield.”
Schulman Bhattacharya is an international law firm with extensive experience representing clients across a wide range of industries. The firm specializes in resolving complex corporate and business disputes through its zealous and unrelenting approach to litigation, arbitration, mediation, and informal negotiation. The firm represents companies of all sizes and individuals with valuable commercial and personal interests to protect. For more information, please visit Schulman Bhattacharya’s website.
Spokesperson: Jeremy Schulman
Organization: Schulman Bhattacharya