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Johnson & Johnson v. Carter-Wallace, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
631 F.2d 186 (1980)


Johnson & Johnson (J&J) (plaintiff) sold baby oil and baby lotion. Some consumers used baby oil and baby lotion for shaving, either as aftershave moisturizer or as a shaving cream replacement. Carter-Wallace, Inc. (Carter) (defendant) sold NAIR, a hair-removal lotion. In 1977, Carter added baby oil to NAIR. NAIR packaging and advertisements emphasized that NAIR contained baby oil. Subsequently, Carter’s share of the hair-removal product market rose. Meanwhile, J&J’s baby-oil sales were decreasing. J&J sued Carter, alleging false advertising respecting Carter’s claims about baby oil. J&J sought only injunctive relief. J&J argued that Carter’s advertisements falsely misled consumers to believe that NAIR with baby oil was an equivalent skin moisturizer to baby oil and baby lotion. At trial, Carter presented evidence of consumers who believed, in response to Carter’s advertisements and packaging, that baby oil or lotion was not necessary if one used NAIR. After J&J’s presented evidence, Carter moved to dismiss the suit. The district court granted Carter’s motion on the ground that J&J failed to demonstrate damages. The district court’s decision did not reach the issue of falsity. J&J appealed.

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