The FTC recently announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) aimed at curbing deceptive consumer reviews and endorsements. The NPRM primarily aims to expand the Commission’s ability to seek civil penalties against businesses using false and misleading reviews online, which the FTC maintains can cause significant harm to consumers and competitors.Continue Reading FTC Publishes Proposed Rule Banning Fake Consumer Reviews
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on June 9, 2023, approved the listing standards Nasdaq and NYSE established requiring listed issuers to adopt and comply with written clawback policies meeting the standards specified by Rule 10D-1. The listing standards will take effect on October 2, 2023. Listed issuers, including publicly-traded retailers, will have until December 1, 2023 (i.e., 60 days after October 2) to adopt a clawback policy that is compliant with the new listing standards.Continue Reading SEC Approves NYSE and Nasdaq Clawback Rules
The FTC took action last week against a group of New England-based clothing accessories companies for making false claims that certain of its products were “Made in USA.”Continue Reading Made in the USA-ish: FTC Charges Clothing Accessories Companies for False “Hand Crafted in USA” Claims
Last week, the FTC announced its long-awaited finalization of updated Endorsement Guides. These guidelines come after the FTC initially voted to publish revised guidelines in May 2022. The new Guides were approved by a unanimous vote and make a significant number of updates to the 2009 version.Continue Reading FTC Updates Endorsement Guides: Highlights Online Reviews, Social Media Tags, and Clear Disclosures
In granting a summary judgment motion on June 16, 2023, the Southern District of Florida Bankruptcy Court developed a new framework to determine the ownership rights to a corporate social media account. The court found that Vital Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer and seller of “Bang” energy drinks, is the rightful owner of three social media accounts used to market Vital’s products, rather than the company’s former CEO who often posted to the accounts.Continue Reading “Bang” Goes the Gavel: Ownership of Social Media Accounts
Governor Gavin Newsom signed California Senate Bill 6 (“SB 6”) and California Assembly Bill 2011 (“AB 2011”) on September 28, 2022, with the goal of making it easier to develop new multifamily housing in areas currently zoned for office, retail, or parking uses. SB 6 and AB 2011 (collectively, the “Laws”) will allow developers whose projects meet certain criteria (related to affordability, workforce compensation, etc.) to bypass certain local restrictions (and in some cases, bypass CEQA). Given the ongoing housing shortage that has plagued California for decades, we would expect developers to give the Laws serious consideration.
While both Laws allow developers to develop residential projects in areas not zoned for residential uses (and both are generally focused on decreasing the transaction costs involved in developing new housing), the two Laws take decidedly different approaches.Continue Reading If You Want to Develop California Multifamily Projects in Areas Zoned for Office, Retail, or Parking Uses, then Continue Reading . . .
Branding is central to the sale of products and services for many retailers. In a case involving a whiskey bottle dog toy with important findings for retailers and brand protection, the Supreme Court vacated the Ninth Circuit’s rulings on trademark infringement and trademark dilution in Jack Daniel’s Properties, Inc. v. VIP Products LLC.Continue Reading Supreme Court Chews Up And Spits “Bad Spaniels” Back to District Court
As published on Hunton’s Nickel Report, in May 2023, Minnesota’s Governor Walz signed into law HF 2310, which bans the sale of certain products containing “intentionally added” per- and- polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in 2025 and then all products in 2032, and also establishes reporting requirements for products containing PFAS starting in 2026. Following Maine’s lead, Minnesota has now become the second state in the country to pass a broad ban on PFAS-containing products sold in the state. While reporting requirements apply to product manufacturers, the bans on sale, offer for sale, or distribution in the state apply to “persons,” including retailers. Companies who manufacture products for sale (and who sell) products in the state of Minnesota will need to prepare to assess the presence of PFAS in their supply chains in order to comply with these new requirements.Continue Reading Minnesota Becomes Second State to Pass Sweeping PFAS Ban and Reporting Law Targeting All Products
In an anticipated decision, on May 30, 2023, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision approving a Chapter 11 plan’s inclusion of a nonconsensual release of direct claims against non-debtor third parties. Purdue Pharma LP v. City of Grand Prairie (In re Purdue Pharma LP), No. 22-110 (2d Cir. May 30, 2023).Continue Reading Second Circuit Approves Nonconsensual Third-Party Release in Purdue Pharma Case: Where Do Third Party Releases Stand Now?
As reported on Hunton’s Privacy and Information Security Law Blog, on May 31, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission announced a proposed order against home security camera company Ring LLC (“Ring”) for unfair and deceptive acts or practices in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act.Continue Reading FTC Issues Proposed Order Against Home Security Camera Company Ring