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Jury Finds for FIGS, Inc., Rejecting All Claims of False Advertising

Strategic Partners, Inc. v. FIGS, Inc., Catherine (“Trina”) Spear, Heather Hasson; Case No. 2:19-cv-02286-JWH-KS (C.D. Cal.) 

Following a three-week trial in federal court, a California jury took less than 24 hours to rule entirely in favor of the direct-to-consumer medical scrubs brand FIGS, Inc. and its founders, rejecting all claims of false advertising and intentional interference made by the legacy wholesale scrubs maker Strategic Partners, Inc. (“SPI,” doing business as Careismatic Brands). 

SPI filed the lawsuit in 2019, alleging that competitor FIGS had made false and misleading advertising claims about its products to gain market share. The jury found that none of FIGS’ advertising statements were false, misleading, or deceptive, and that neither FIGS nor its founders had engaged in any false advertising. 

Applied Marketing Science, Inc. (AMS)-affiliated expert Dr. Stephen Nowlis, the August A. Busch Jr. Distinguished Professor of Marketing at Washington University in St. Louis, supported by AMS, provided affirmative survey evidence and testimony showing that—had the jury found the claims challenged by SPI to be false or misleading, which the jury did not find—such claims were in any event likely immaterial to relevant consumers. Dr. Nowlis testified that he tested the claims at issue using three different methodologies. All of these approaches confirmed the same finding: namely, that the allegedly deceptive statements did not impact the likelihood that consumers would purchase FIGS medical apparel, and thus were likely not material to consumers. 

AMS Principal and survey expert Brian Sowers also provided survey rebuttal evidence, refuting as unreliable the surveys proffered by SPI’s expert.  

“AMS is pleased that FIGS and their counsel entrusted our experienced team to provide the rigorous end-to-end support needed to develop survey evidence for this high-stakes litigation,” said Jason Och, AMS Principal and Litigation Support Practice Lead. “Our ability to support leading academic experts, like Dr. Nowlis, while also providing comprehensive survey rebuttal evidence from our own in-house experts, like Brian Sowers, makes AMS a one-stop shop for our clients.” 

 FIGS was represented by Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP and Bird, Marella, Boxer, Wolpert, Nessim, Drooks, Lincenberg & Rhow, P.C. 

AMS collaborates with a network of survey research experts who have expertise in areas such as consumer behavior, social psychology, advertising, branding, marketing strategy, economics, content analysis and other related areas. Experts design and conduct surveys to analyze consumer perceptions and behavior in litigation—including trademark and trade-dress infringement, deceptive advertising, class actions, patent infringement, and damage calculations—and testify in both deposition and at trial.  

To learn more about AMS Litigation Support services, including false advertising surveys, please contact AMS Litigation Support.

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