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U-Haul International, Inc. v. Jartran, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
793 F.2d 1034 (1986)


Facts

In 1979, Jartran, Inc. (defendant) entered the self-moving business. Jartran began a national advertising campaign comparing itself to U-Haul International, Inc. (plaintiff). U-Haul was by far the market leader at the time. The advertising campaign worked, with Jartran’s revenues increasing from $7 million to $80 million in one year, and U-Haul’s revenues decreasing for the first time ever. U-Haul sued Jartran for false comparative advertising. U-Haul undertook a corrective-advertising campaign to correct the public’s perception after Jartran’s false advertising. Jartran argued that the corrective-advertising campaign was not necessary. The district court ruled in favor of U-Haul and awarded $40 million in damages. The court calculated the award by adding the cost of Jartran’s advertising campaign ($6 million) to the cost of U-Haul’s corrective-advertising campaign ($13.6 million). The court then doubled this amount under its discretion provided by the Lanham Act. Jartran appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Sneed, J.)

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