The United States District Court for the District of Maine has held that a competitor who is “thinking” about going into business does not have Article III standing to bring a Lanham Act false advertising suit against an established competitor.

In this case, Maine Springs, a company created to establish water bottling operations in Poland Spring, Maine, argued that Nestlé Waters falsely implied that its Poland Spring brand bottled water actually contained water from the dried-up Poland Spring. Even though Maine Springs had in place the mechanisms to start producing bottled water, because it had not actually attempted to “enter the bottled water market in any way,” the court held it had not been harmed by any of Nestlé Waters’ alleged false advertising.

A detailed discussion can be found on the Norton Rose Fulbright Brand Protection Blog.