Recently, President Trump announced that he sent names of four nominees to serve as commissioners on the five-member Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) to the Senate for approval. If all four of the nominees are confirmed, it will still leave one remaining vacant seat on the FTC, which has been operating as a bipartisan two-member interim agency since early last year. The nominees, three of whom were announced last fall, consist of three Republicans—Joseph Simons, Noah Phillips and Christine Wilson—and one Democrat, Rohit Chopra. Continue Reading President Trump Sends Four FTC Nominees to Senate for Approval

With less than two months before the May 31 deadline for public companies to report to the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on the inclusion of conflict minerals in their products, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia entered a final judgment in National Association of Manufacturers v. Securities and Exchange Commission, the litigation surrounding the SEC conflict minerals rule. This alert provides a summary of legal developments over the past year on the topic of conflict minerals, including the SEC’s most recent action, and provides our suggestions for compliance for the next year.

Read the full client alert.

The following consumer protection actions made headlines this week:

Epson to Make Advertising Modifications Following NAD Recommendations

Epson America Inc. has agreed to make some modifications to its advertising after a challenge from HP. The NAD recommended Epson discontinue its “loaded and ready” claim as it may confuse consumers into thinking its EcoTank printers are pre-filled with ink and ready to print immediately. The NAD reviewed numerous other Epson claims, including: (1) EcoTank printers offer “an unbeatable combination of convenience and value”; (2) EcoTank printers will “save [consumers] a small fortune on ink”; and (3) implied claims that EcoTank printers provide environmental benefits versus other printers. While the NAD found that the EcoTank printer can save a consumer money in the long run, it recommended that Epson discontinue its “small fortune” claim. The NAD also found that Epson provided support for its implied comparative environmental claims. Continue Reading Consumer Protection in Retail: Weekly Roundup

This past week, several consumer and regulatory actions made headlines:

Federal Guidance

D.C. Federal Judge Vacates Part of FDA Tobacco Guidance

A D.C. federal judge vacated a portion of FDA guidance relating to the labeling of tobacco products. The key issue before the court was whether changing a tobacco product’s label to a distinct new label creates a new tobacco product subject to FDA approval. The court also considered the question of whether changing a product’s quantity resulted in the creation of a new tobacco product subject to the FDA’s “substantial equivalence review process.” The court found that while a change in the existing product’s label did not create a new tobacco product, a change in a product’s quantity did. Continue Reading Consumer Protection in Retail: Weekly Roundup

This past week, several consumer protection and regulatory actions made headlines:

Court of Appeals Rules Spokeo Requires Actual Harm

A three-judge appellate panel dismissed the case in Hancock et al. v. Urban Outfitters, a putative class action against two retailers, Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie, who were alleged to have violated District of Columbia consumer protection laws by seeking consumers’ zip code information. Continue Reading Consumer Protection in Retail: Weekly Roundup

Recently, Washington D.C. councilmembers unanimously voted to increase the city’s minimum wage to $15.00 an hour by the year 2020 for non-tipped hourly workers, many of whom work in the retail industry. The news comes just before Washington D.C. is scheduled to increase its minimum wage rate from $10.50 an hour to $11.50 an hour on July 1, 2016. The move makes D.C. the third jurisdiction behind California and New York to increase minimum wages to $15.00 an hour. Continue Reading Washington, D.C. Increases Minimum Wage for Non-Tipped Workers

This past week, several consumer protection and regulatory actions made headlines:

FTC Issues Closing Letter in Bedrock “Made in USA” Labeling Investigation

On June 16, 2016, the FTC issued a closing letter in its investigation of Bedrock Manufacturing Company, the parent of Filson and Shinola. The FTC had raised concerns regarding Bedrock’s unqualified use of the phrases “Made in USA” and “Built in USA.” Despite using these labels, many of Shinola and Filson’s products were made with materials mostly or entirely sourced from outside of the US. The FTC closed its investigation as a result of Bedrock’s self-imposed corrective actions, including replacing hangtags and information cards for various products, updating employee training materials and advertising materials, and changing labelling integrated on the products themselves. Continue Reading Consumer Protection in Retail: Weekly Roundup