Communications & Media Updates

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Communications & Media issues written by leading professionals.
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Don’t Copy “Bounty” Bars: Distributors of Chocolate Bars Prohibited from Imitating “Bounty Bar Shape”

Mars saw a violation of its three-dimensional “Bounty” trademark and filed a lawsuit against the distributor of the “Wish” chocolate bar....more

California Appellate Court Holds Police Video of Arrest Not Protected Under Pitchess

Only a Record Generated as Part of an Internal Investigation is Protected by Pitchess - The California Court of Appeal has ruled in City of Eureka v. Superior Court (Greenson) that a police “dash cam” video of an...more

Advertising Law - July 2016 #3

Wikipedia Link Trips up Ninth Circuit False Ad Suit - Ruling that a California federal court incorrectly relied upon a Wikipedia link when considering a summary judgment motion in a false advertising suit, the Ninth...more

On the Move and At Risk: Safeguards for Mitigating Mobile Device Vulnerabilities While Traveling Overseas

Employees use their smartphones as a key tool for accessing information during a work day – especially when outside the office and traveling on business. While smartphones, tablets, laptops and other devices may increase...more

New rules for vat taxation of e-commerce services in Russia

On 3 July 2016 Russian President Vladimir Putin signed Federal Law No. 244-FZ introducing rules for VAT taxation of e-commerce services in Russia (Law)....more

What you need to know about the Approximate Retail Value ‘ARV’ in Sweepstakes and Contests

Virturally all official rules for sweepstakes or contests in the United States include the Approximate Retail Value (ARV) of each prize. In fact, many state laws and other regulations require that the ARV be included in the...more

Slack-fill Litigation on the Rise

The recent filing of a proposed class action targeting Mondelez International, Inc. for the amount of empty space in its Sour Patch Watermelon candy boxes is the latest lawsuit targeting consumer goods manufacturers for...more

Medina v. Dash Films Inc. - USDC, S.D. New York, July 14, 2016

District court dismisses trademark infringement action against Kanye West and others, finding that defendants’ film series title “Loisaidas” is protected by First Amendment because it has artistic relevance, title is not...more

Democratic Senators want stronger payday loan rule

A group of 27 Democratic Senators joined by Independent Senator Bernie Sanders have sent a letter to Director Cordray urging the CFPB to “strengthen” its proposed payday loan rule. The Senators take aim at the proposal’s...more

FTC Acts Against Warner Brothers’ YouTube Promotion Campaign: Disclosure of Affiliation Below the “Fold” Is Not Enough

Last week, the FTC announced an agreement containing a consent order, subject to final approval, resolving its claims against Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Inc. (“Warner Bros.”) for the company’s misleading use of social...more

Supreme Court’s Spokeo Decision Leaves Questions Unresolved

On May 16, the Supreme Court issued its Spokeo v. Robins decision. Spokeo was a closely-watched case, as it had the potential to substantially limit federal court jurisdiction in cases where plaintiffs sued for violations of...more

CFPB Orders National Bank to Pay $10 Million for Overdraft Practices

On July 14, 2016, the CFPB announced that it ordered a bank to pay $10 million in fines for its overdraft service practices. According to the CFPB, the bank’s telemarketing vendor used allegedly deceptive marketing and sales...more

You’ve Got (Foreign) Mail: Can Law Enforcement Get to it?

Even though Microsoft is a U.S. corporation subject to domestic subpoenas and warrants, prosecutors are not entitled to emails stored on its servers abroad, the Second Circuit ruled last week in Microsoft Corp. v. United...more

Can You Identify Your Trade Dress?

Trade dress is a type of trademark intellectual property right that can protect almost any unique identifying aesthetic design used by a company, from the shape of a product, to the appearance of a website, to the decor of a...more

A Good Faith Disconnect on Retrans

There is an old vaudeville routine I’ve found more useful for understanding lawmaking in Washington than any textbook. It goes something like this: - (Scene: a nighttime street corner illuminated by a single...more

Potential Risks and Rewards of Cybersecurity Information Sharing Under CISA

When President Obama signed into law the Cybersecurity Act of 2015, which was designed to facilitate information sharing on cybersecurity threats between the public and private sectors, proponents hailed it as “our best...more

Privacy Tip #44 – The flashlight app’s collection of your data

When you start needing longer arms to read restaurant menus in the candlelight, you might consider downloading a flashlight app to use with your reading glasses. But before you download it, first be aware that your...more

Avatar Wins Against Another Copyright Owner… in an Unusual Manner

A recent decision from the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, ended the hopes and dreams of a copyright owner from receiving a share of the $2.8 billion earned by James Cameron’s Avatar film. In this...more

Augmenting Reality: A Pokémon Go Business and Legal Primer

We have become inured to the sight of people staring at their phones rather than engaging with one another or enjoying their real-life surroundings. But, over the past two weeks, enslavement to mobile devices rose to new...more

Yet Another Bank Reaches Multimillion-Dollar TCPA Deal

Following the lead of other banks facing putative class actions under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), JPMorgan Chase Bank agreed to pay recipients of unwanted phone calls $3.75 million....more

The Federal Trademark Statute Assumes Hillary Can’t Win

Today’s example of unintentional sexism comes to us from Section 2(c) of the Lanham Act. On its face, the language of the statute assumes that someone other than Hillary will win the 2016 presidential election – and it won’t...more

Learning from Venmo’s Compliance Issues: How to Avoid Inadequate Privacy Disclosures

PayPal, the company responsible for the popular mobile payments app, Venmo, recently agreed to voluntarily bolster its privacy and security disclosures—and pay a $175,000 penalty—in response to an enforcement action brought...more

Your daily dose of financial news - The Brief – 7.21.16

The Treasury Dept’s Office of Financial Research has found that money-market funds are increasingly entering into direct repurchase loans with large investors and insurers—another sign that “participants in short-term lending...more

Does Your Company Need a Pokémon Policy?

The latest craze is Pokémon Go, an app for smartphones that allows people to “catch” Pokémon creatures by integrating the real world with the virtual world. So what do you do if you see one of your employees wandering around...more

Indian Supreme Court Upholds Criminal Defamation and an Individual “Right to Reputation”

On May 13, 2016, the Indian Supreme Court issued a landmark verdict rejecting a series of petitions that challenged the criminal defamation provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on the basis that they violate free speech...more

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