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Business Law Newsletter - July 2014

In This Issue: - Redskins Trademark Cancelled - Q&A with Bean, Kinney & Korman - Knowing When and Why to Maintain Your Trademarks - Tortious Interference in Virginia - Improper Methods...more

Supreme Court Opens Door to Food and Beverage Label Challenges Under Lanham Act

The United States Supreme Court paved the way on June 12 for competitors to challenge FDA-regulated food and beverage labels under the Lanham Act. The Court's opinion in POM Wonderful LLC v. The Coca-Cola Co, is the latest...more

Disappearing Act Fails – Maryland Attorney General and FTC “snap” back at Snapchat

Recently, the Maryland Attorney General’s Office announced that it reached a settlement with Snapchat, Inc. over alleged deceptive trade practices in violation of Maryland law and violations of federal laws that are intended...more

This Article Will Self-Destruct: Your Employee’s Use of These ESI-Destroying Apps Could Subject You to Sanctions

In This Issue: - Can You Keep a Secret? There’s an App for That - Do Snapchat or Confide Produce “Documents” in the Eyes of the Law? What about Evidence? - Implications on Securities Fraud and Employment Issues...more

Federal Circuit Review | June 2014

District Court Improperly Limited Claim To Preferred Embodiment - In GE LIGHTING SOLUTIONS, LLC v. AGILIGHT, INC., Appeal No. 13-1267, the Federal Circuit reversed in part and affirmed in part summary judgments of...more

Lawsuit Against Medtronic Alleges Racketeering Over Infuse Bone Graft

When one big industry sues another we learn a lot about how business as usual is conducted. In this case Humana, a giant health insurer, has sued the medical device company Medtronic, maker of the Infuse bone graft. ...more

CFPB & DOJ Consent Orders with Former GE Capital Retail Bank: Something Old and Something New

Yesterday, the CFPB announced a $225 million settlement of two major credit card enforcement matters with Synchrony Bank, formerly known as GE Capital Retail Bank. First, the “Add-On Matter” targets alleged deceptive...more

SEC Administrative Law Judge Bars Investment Manager for Misrepresenting GIPS Compliance

On May 27, 2014, an administrative law judge (ALJ) found ZPR Investment Management, Inc. (ZPRIM) and its former owner, Max Zavanelli, to have violated the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 for publishing misleading...more

Ninth Circuit Agrees with FTC that Online Marketing Program Was an Unlawful "Pyramid Scheme"

The legal status of many membership programs promoted via social media and spam has been called into question by a recent decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which affirmed a judgment that one such...more

Polsinelli Podcasts - Be Careful What you Put in Writing - What Companies Need to Know About Document Retention  [Video]

There's an old saying "The Devil is in the Details." If you are an employer, what you record in a document, whether its marketing materials or employee evaluations, can be used for or against you at trial. Documents can make...more

Pejorative Statements by Former Patient are not Defamatory, but Protected Opinion

It is fair to say that doctors trade on their reputations more so than most other professionals. When one relies on the doctor to ensure his or her health, and occasionally save a life, the import of such a choice often...more

Court Puts a Cork in Billionaire’s Punitive Damages Award In Counterfeit Wine Case

On March 31st, a federal judge in the Southern District of New York slashed a $12 million dollar punitive damages award to billionaire and oenophile William Koch in his lawsuit over counterfeit wine, finding the award – which...more

FTC v. Jerk.com: Did the FTC’s “Jerk.com” Complaint Just Turn API Terms into Federal Law?

The Federal Trade Commission’s announcement earlier this week that it had filed a complaint against Jerk, LLC and its websites like “jerk.com” (“Jerk”) looks at first glance like a run-of-the-mill FTC Section 5 enforcement...more

Supreme Court Rules That A Non-Competitor Has Standing To Assert False Advertising Claims

On March 25, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a company has standing to assert a false advertising claim against a non-competitor under Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act if it can "show economic or reputational injury flowing...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review - March 31, 2014

Fed Issues a Report on Mobile Financial Services - On March 25, the Fed issued a report on the use of mobile phones to obtain financial services. Last year, 33 percent of all mobile phone users and 51 percent of...more

Crowd-Sourced Review Website May Incur Lanham Act Liability For Selectively Deleting Reviews

Today’s consumers depend on “crowd-sourced” review websites like Angie’s List and Yelp, which permit users to post and read reviews of goods and services. Businesses feel a corresponding pressure to encourage favorable...more

Legally Compliant Online Promotions - Doing Online Promotions Without Getting Sued

In This Presentation: - User Generated Content ..What, Me Worry? What could go wrong with UGC? - The Communications Decency Act ..Section 230 - The DMCA ..Safe Harbor - Sweepstakes, Contests and...more

Trademark Review - February 2014

Applicant Successfully Avoids Fraud Claim by Consenting to Judgment on Abandonment Claim - In a precedential opinion, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board granted the Applicant’s motion for entry of judgment on the...more

Commercial Disparagement An Increasing Concern In The Age Of Social Media

Companies are turning to social media with increasing frequency to directly communicate with customers and potential customers. T-Mobile USA is no exception. Not only did the company release an astonishingly snarky press...more

Overstock Case Could Alter the Landscape of Price Comparison Advertising

A California court ruled earlier this month that Overstock must pay a roughly $6.8 million penalty to settle claims that the retailer “routinely and systematically” made false and misleading claims about the prices of its...more

Make sure your Plan Service is more than just a typical gimmick

A year or so ago, a good friend of mine who is an ERISA §3(38) fiduciary won a case from a disgruntled broker who claimed that all 3(38) services was just marketing. A 3(38) fiduciary that does a competent job and assumes...more

FTC Approves Consent Order Regarding “Made in USA” False Claims

Under the Federal Trade Commission’s 1997 Enforcement Policy Statement on U.S. Origin Claims, in order to say a product is made in the USA, “all or virtually all” of the product has to be U.S.-made. All significant parts and...more

Why a Class Action Lawsuit Against 23andMe? Quick Hit Q&A With Audet & Partners

The bad news for 23andMe keeps coming. In late November, we learned that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had ordered the company to stop selling its $99 DNA testing kit owing to a number of accuracy and validity...more

Faked LinkedIn Profile and Twitter Hash Tags Give Rise to Trademark and False Advertising Claims

A recent opinion from the Western District of Virginia sets forth a useful framework for analyzing a variety of Lanham Act claims based on false commercial speech uttered in social media....more

Texas Gulf Selfie? The Changing (and Disappearing) Face of Insider Trading

In recent weeks, U.S Department of Justice investigations into currency traders have drawn renewed attention to the permanence of even seemingly fleeting communications. In that investigation, the DOJ is looking at, among...more

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