Communications & Media Updates

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PayPal To Pay Dearly for Alleged Violations of OFAC Sanctions

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has announced a $7,658,300 settlement with PayPal, Inc. (PayPal) to resolve potential civil liability for 486 alleged violations of the Iranian,...more

UK Regulator Announces Its Approach to Financial Promotions in Social Media

On March 13, the UK regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published finalized guidance on its supervisory approach to financial promotions in social media (the “Guidance”). The range of social media within the...more

Filing Fee for .sucks Top-Level Domain Names Really Sucks for Brand Owners

The recent top-level domain name explosion has been of great interest to existing brand owners and new market entrants alike. No longer is a business limited to deciding which of a few top-level domains, such as .com, .net,...more

FTC Creates New Office Focused on Privacy and Data Security

Earlier this week the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced the formation of the Office of Technology Research and Investigation within its Bureau of Consumer Protection. The office will succeed the Mobile Technology...more

UK’s Financial Services Regulator: No Hashtags in Financial Promotions

Earlier this month the UK’s financial services regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), issued its final guidance on financial promotions made via social media channels. As we reported last year, the FCA issued...more

Increased FTC Enforcement as FDA Deregulates Low-Risk Health IT Devices

The FTC steps up enforcement of misleading software and mobile app promotional claims as FDA deregulates low-risk health IT devices. In recent weeks, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has taken several enforcement...more

The FCC and the Uncertain Future of Privacy Oversight for Internet Service Providers

The Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC”) net neutrality proceeding culminated this month with the release of an Order reclassifying broadband Internet access service as a common carrier Telecommunications Service...more

CRTC Issues $48,000 Fine for Technical Violation of CASL

Following up on its recent $1.1MM CASL enforcement action against Quebec executive training firm Compu-Finder, the CRTC announced today that it has entered into an undertaking with online dating service operator Plenty of...more

April 1 Deadline for Posting School Board Member E-Mail Addresses Online Approaches

As we reported in our 2014 Legislative Update, a recent law requires every school district that maintains a traditional website to post on that website a mechanism for members of the public to electronically communicate with...more

Online Dating Site Hit with Anti-Spam Law Fine

On the heels of issuing its first Notice of Violation under Canada’s Anti-spam Legislation (CASL) earlier this month, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced today that Plentyoffish...more

County's Decision to Reject Controversial Ad Did Not Violate the First Amendment

Rejecting a First Amendment challenge, a county can choose to not run an advertisement on its own bus system if it might cause vandalism and violence, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held this week. The court...more

To File or Not to File (Before the TTAB) – Supreme Court Holds TTAB Decisions Can Have Preclusive Effect in Federal Court

In its second trademark decision this term, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that certain findings by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) relating to whether there is a “likelihood of confusion” between trademarks can...more

Blog: SEC Adopts Reg A+

At an open meeting this morning, the SEC adopted rules and forms related to the offer and sale of securities under Section 3(b) of the Securities Act, so-called Reg A+, as mandated by Section 401 of the JOBS Act. ...more

Canadian Competition Bureau Steps Up Enforcement Efforts, Including First CASL-Related Proceeding

Although Canada’s Competition Bureau (Bureau) has been focused the past year on enhancing its advocacy and competition compliance roles, the Bureau has also demonstrated its continued willingness to use formal investigative...more

Supreme Court Trademark Decision - TTAB Findings Can Be Binding in Court Cases

TTAB Registration Decisions May Have Issue Preclusion Effect - On March 24, 2015, in B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc., the Supreme Court raised the stakes and importance of decisions by the Trademark Office,...more

Supreme Court: TTAB Proceedings Can Have Preclusive Effect in Federal Court

Yesterday, the Supreme Court held in B&B Hardware v. Hargis Industries that likelihood-of-confusion decisions by the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) can have preclusive...more

Your Mom and the Courts Agree: Naked Online Pix are Not OK

Since the 1990s and the rise of the Internet and social media, each one of us has become increasingly aware of the risks and dangers of unwanted posts and how fast a “discreet” image can go viral....more

Alert: Financial Promotions in Social Media for the UK

The FCA published its Finalised Guidance (FG15/4) on Social media and customer communications: The FCA's supervisory approach to financial promotions in social media on 13 March 2015 (Finalised Guidance). ...more

Alert: Supreme Court Holds that Trademark Board Rulings on Confusion May Bind Later Infringement Litigation

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ("TTAB") decisions on likelihood of confusion in disputes over registration may preclude relitigation of the issue in a later suit for trademark...more

When Is “Payment Authorization” the Same as a “Payment”? Seventh Circuit Weighs In

A divided Seventh Circuit found that the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), 15 U.S.C. § 1601 et seq., requires mortgage servicers to credit online electronic payments on the day the customer authorizes the payment, despite not...more

MLB Using Technology to Expand its Reach

Spring training is underway in Florida and Arizona, and Major League Baseball has a new commissioner, new executive leadership and a persistent challenge. MLB has the oldest and least diverse fan base of any of the...more

The New Frontier in Interest Based Advertising: FTC Shifts Focus to Cross-Device Tracking

As consumers increasingly connect to the Internet using multiple devices—such as mobile phones, tablets, computers, TVs and wearable devices—advertising technology companies have rapidly developed capabilities to reach the...more

Can the U.S. – EU Safe Harbor Weather the Storm?

On 24 March, the Court of Justice for the European Union (CJEU) heard argument on a case that could significantly impact, if not invalidate altogether, the Safe Harbor framework that facilitates the flow of personal data from...more

NLRB General Counsel Issues Report Concerning Legality of Common Employer Rules

On March 18, 2015, NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin issued a Report Concerning Employer Rules, in a stated effort to provide guidance on the intersection of employer rules and the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). ...more

Supreme Court Decides B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc.

On March 24, 2015, the Supreme Court decided B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc., No. 13-352. The question was whether issue preclusion (collateral estoppel) can apply to decisions of the Trademark Trial and Appeal...more

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