The FTC and the FDA jointly sent warning letters to four manufacturers of flavored e-liquid products, citing the absence of particular disclosures in paid social media endorsements as potentially in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the FTC Act.

Continue Reading FTC and FDA Warn e-Liquid Companies to Disclose Hazards and Connections

Social media can be a minefield of intellectual property issues. The hashtag, for example, began as a searching tool, but now has evolved into its own form of communication. And if a hashtag can include a trademark or otherwise represent a brand, when can you use someone else’s trademark in a hashtag?

Continue Reading District Court Finds Use of Third-Party Hashtags Created Implied Association

The Federal Trade Commission entered proposed final orders settling June 2018 charges filed against several online marketers of e-cigarettes, dietary supplements and skin creams for deceptively advertising “risk free” trial offers.

Continue Reading FTC Stops “Free Trial” Marketers

Historically, foreign investors in U.S. retailers have not considered as a potential impediment to raising capital or M&A activity the clearance of such transactions under the foreign investment regulations administered by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS or the Committee). Recent actions by CFIUS, however, suggest that foreign investment in any U.S. company, including retailers, that collects sensitive personal data of U.S. citizens is at potential risk of CFIUS review and remedial action, particularly where the transaction involves Chinese investors. Continue Reading CFIUS: A Potential Threat to Retail M&A?

Court rulings interpreting the Consumer Product Safety Act (CSPA) are rare because parties subject to the act typically resolve any issues directly with the CPSC through administrative actions or settlements. This month, the Seventh Circuit issued such a rare ruling, which makes it more difficult for manufacturers, distributors or retailers to argue the statute of limitations has run on failure-to-report claims.

Continue Reading Recall Roundup: May

As many readers of this blog are aware, a nationwide trend of localities requiring paid family leave has emerged over the last few years. While there has been little development on the federal front, this appears to be changing. On May 22, 2019, members of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over federal tax policy and significant health care policy, announced a bipartisan working committee of Finance Committee senators to consider the issue of federal paid family leave policy.

Continue Reading Bipartisan Group of Senate Finance Committee Members Establishes Paid Family Leave Working Group

Recently, in Mission Product Holdings v. Tempnology LLC, the Supreme Court held that a trademark licensee may continue using a licensed trademark after its licensor files for bankruptcy and rejects the relevant license agreement. While a debtor-licensor may “reject” a trademark license agreement under Section 365 of the Bankruptcy Code, such rejection is only a breach of the agreement and does not allow the licensor to revoke the licensee’s rights.

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A federal court in Pennsylvania has held that Liberty Mutual must defend its insured, Hershey Creamery Company, in an intellectual property infringement lawsuit because the suit raises claims that potentially implicate coverage under the policies’ personal and advertising injury coverages. The court further found that the alleged wrongful conduct was not subject to the policies’ IP infringement exclusion.

Continue Reading IP Lawsuit Triggers Insurers’ Duty to Defend

The CPSC this month issued notices to multiple consumer product companies explaining that the CPSC “recently discovered that nonpublic manufacturer information identifying your company by name along with product model name and/or model number was released in error to the public without following the procedures of 15 U.S.C. § 2055,” which provides procedures for and restrictions on the Commission’s public disclosure of manufacturer and product-specific information. The notice offers few details about the unauthorized disclosure’s nature or scope, raising questions about whether the released data comes from inspections, product safety investigations, recalls, consumer safety complaints or other possibly confidential or commercially sensitive information. This kind of disclosure may have a chilling effect going forward on the candor encouraged between the CPSC and regulated companies by Section 6(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act.

Continue Reading Recall Roundup: April