Administrative Agency Communications & Media

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Administrative Agency issues written by leading professionals.
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California "Organic" Labeling Decision: A Blueprint for More Class Actions of FDA Regulated Products?

In December 2015, the California Supreme Court issued a ruling in Quesada v. Herb Thyme Farms, Inc., which may affect many companies subject to FDA regulation, but particularly those that advertise and sell products as...more

NLRB Again Says Employers Cannot Impose Blanket Ban on Employee Recording in Workplace

Like many employers, Whole Foods adopted a policy prohibiting employees from conducting unauthorized recording of conversations, phone calls or meetings, regardless of the recording technology used. Employers generally...more

FCC Wireless Shot Clock Trumps Complex Local Processes, Says First Circuit While Addressing Section 332 “Final Action” Requirement

On Jan. 8, 2016, in Global Tower Assets, LLC v. Town of Rome, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that a wireless permit applicant must go through all administrative appeals required by local law before there...more

Living in a Nonmaterial World: Determining IP Rights for Digital Data

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) regulates U.S. trade and oversees Section 337 investigations that address unfair competition based on alleged infringement of intellectual property rights. The ITC has been a...more

UK and EU Law Enforcement Investigatory and Data Sharing Powers: Developments and International Impact

Proposed UK legislation governing UK law enforcement investigatory powers (together with differences in approach by the UK and rest of Europe to law enforcement access to personal data) will have a deep and far reaching...more

Nine U.S. Senators Urge Obama Administration to Issue Title III Website Regulations ASAP

In late December, nine Democratic senators (Edward J. Markey (D-Mass), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Cory A. Booker (D-N.J.), Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Benjamin L. Cardin...more

Non-Telco Company Agrees to $135,000 Civil Penalty to Settle Investigation into Unauthorized Operations of Wireless Stations

Last week, the Enforcement Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) announced a $135,000 settlement with Constellium Rolled Products Ravenswood, LLC (“Constellium”) regarding the company’s unauthorized radio...more

Recent SEC Actions Highlight Adviser Responsibilities With Respect to Performance Advertising

In a series of recent administrative proceedings, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) has clarified its expectations regarding the use of performance data in investment adviser advertisements. Specifically,...more

TTAB Finds MEAT CANDY to be Too Sweet

In a recent (non-precedential) decision , the TTAB refused to register the mark MEAT CANDY as being merely descriptive of Applicant's restaurant services. To anyone who is not a meat connoisseur, a 2(e)(1) refusal seems to be...more

Government Forces Awaken: The Rise of Cyber Regulators in 2016

As the sun sets on 2015, but before it rises again in the New Year, we predict that, in the realm of cyber and data security, 2016 will become known as the “Rise of the Regulators.” Regulators across numerous industries and...more

FCC Bureau Extends Open Internet Order’s Small Provider Exemption Until December 2016; Table Set for Full Commission Review in...

On December 15, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB or the Bureau) issued a Report and Order extending the temporary exemption for smaller broadband Internet...more

FCC Commissioner O’Rielly Questions Commission’s Forfeiture Calculations in Recent Forfeiture Order

On December 7, 2015 the FCC released a Forfeiture Order against PTT Phone Cards, Inc. (formerly Star Pinless) (PTT or the Company), a prepaid calling card service provider that resells international telecommunications...more

Advertising Law - December 2015

New York AG Asks Court to Bench DFS - In the continuing drama surrounding Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS), New York's Attorney General Eric Schneiderman responded to lawsuits by DraftKings and FanDuel by seeking a preliminary...more

CFPB Files Notice of Charges Against Online Payday Lender

On November 18, the CFPB announced an action against a Delaware-based online payday lender and its CEO for alleged violations of the Truth in Lending Act and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, and for engaging in unfair and...more

LeBlanc Responds to Criticism of the FCC’s Enforcement Process

On November 25, FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc penned a blog post outlining the Commission’s enforcement process and touting the upward trend in recent years in collecting fines issued for violations of the...more

B&B Hardware – District Courts Consider Impact on Both Trademark and Patent Litigation

In B&B Hardware v. Hargis Industries, the Supreme Court held that, under some circumstances, determinations by the USPTO Trademark Trial and Appeal Board could have preclusive effect in subsequent federal court litigation...more

In re Allegiance Staffing – The Rare “Any Other Established Fact”

In this case, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board reversed the refusal to register Applicant’s ALLEGIANCE STAFFING mark (disclaiming STAFFING) for temporary employment agency service on the basis of likelihood of confusion...more

Justice Department Delays Web Accessibility Regulations For At Least Three More Years, Leaving Businesses in Turmoil

In an astonishing move, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it will not issue any regulations for public accommodations websites until fiscal year 2018—eight years after it started the rulemaking process with an...more

FDA Approves Genetically Engineered Atlantic Salmon as Safe and Effective for Human Food and Releases Related Draft Guidance on...

On Thursday, November 19th, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it had approved an application for AquAdvantage Salmon, a type of Atlantic Salmon that has been genetically engineered to grow to market size...more

FDA Proposes Gluten-Free Labeling Standards for Fermented and Hydrolyzed Foods

On November 18, 2015, the FDA issued a proposed rule to set standards for making a “gluten-free” claim for foods that are fermented, hydrolyzed, or distilled, or that otherwise contain fermented or hydrolyzed ingredients....more

New FDA Guidance Doubles-Down on 1980 Fortification Policy and Potential Misbranding Risks of “Inappropriate Fortification”

FDA recently released its Guidance for Industry: Questions and Answers on FDA’s Fortification Policy (Guidance) to “clarify the existing policy” in response to questions FDA has received from the food industry, other federal...more

FDA Issues Final Food Biotechnology Labeling Guidelines for Plant Foods; Discourages “GMO Free” Claims

On November 19, 2015, FDA issued its final guidance for industry concerning the requirements for voluntarily indicating whether food products have or have not been derived from genetically engineered plants. The final...more

FDA Seeks Comments on the Meaning of “Natural”

On November 12, 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested comment on the use of the term "natural" in the labeling of human food products. The notice states that it is establishing "a docket to receive...more

The FDA Gets Pulled Into the "Natural" Labeling Fray: Surprise Move May Change the Food Fight

In a surprising change of tack, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Tuesday that it will accept public comments on the use of "natural" claims on food labels. The move, which may signal FDA's intention to...more

FDA’s Comment Period for “Natural” Food Labels Is Now Open

FDA took long-awaited and much-anticipated steps this week to address the requests of both consumers and food manufacturers and producers for guidance and regulation on use of the term “natural.” For years now, consumer...more

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