Communications & Media Updates

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Do I Need to Dress Up My Fashion Line in a “Trade Dress?”

What is a trade dress? Is this a new fashion trend that Miley Cyrus or Rihanna started? Not exactly. Trade dress law is a subset of trademark law that originally included only the packaging or “dressing” of a...more

Alabama Supreme Court Reaffirms That Plaintiffs Who Use Generic Drugs Can Recover From Brand-Name Manufacturers

On August 15, 2014, the Alabama Supreme Court held for the second time in Wyeth v. Weeks, No. 1101397 (Ala. 2014) that a plaintiff who took only the generic version of the heartburn medication Reglan could nevertheless...more

Sixth Circuit Prints Out Victory for Recipients of Fax-Blasting

An unsolicited fax comes into your business, but via your computer’s network, not on an old-fashioned fax machine. Nothing prints out on paper, but someone still has to deal with the unwanted advertisement. What’s been...more

Capital One to Pay Largest TCPA Settlement on Record

Capital One Financial Corp. (“Capital One”) and three collection agencies have agreed to pay one of the largest settlement amounts in history — $75.5 million — to end a consolidated class action lawsuit alleging that the...more

Ninth Circuit Allows Delinquent Corporation To Sue And Own Trademarks

In Southern California Darts Association v. Zaffina, the Ninth Circuit held that a corporation, whose charter had been suspended by the state of California in 1977, had standing in 2012 to sue and to own trademarks as an...more

Hey Commish, Can You Trademark The (Fantasy Football) League?

All around America, men will soon gather in front of their computers feverishly conducting research, generally wasting time, and participating in one of the manliest things they likely will do for quite some time: their...more

Lanham Act Claims Are Not Precluded by Compliance with the FDCA

POM Wonderful LLC (“POM”) produces and sells a pomegranate-blueberry juice blend. POM brought a Lanham Act suit against Coca-Cola for allegedly marketing one of its juices in such a way that it misled consumers into thinking...more

500 Days and Counting – Where Are the Crowdfunding Rules? Bipartisan Disappointment

On August 8, 2014, Representatives Darrell Issa, Jared Polis, Scott Peters and Vern Buchanan, co-chairs of the House Innovation and Entrepreneurship Caucus, along with a bipartisan group of 26 other representatives, sent a...more

Disclosure At The Mobile Check-Out: The FTC's View On Mobile Shopping Apps

In its August 1st report entitled "What's the Deal — An FTC Study on Mobile Shopping Apps," the FTC provides guidance on various disclosures that should be made by mobile apps along with reinforcing a number of prior...more

7th Circuit Rejects Public-Disclosure Bar in Qui Tam Case

In United States ex rel. Heath v. Wisconsin Bell, Inc., No. 12-3383 (7th Cir. July 28, 2014), the Seventh Circuit grappled with this bar on the use of publicly disclosed information, refusing to apply it in a case involving...more

Class Certified in Homeopathic Products Case

The plaintiffs’ theory of harm drove a recent decision from the Central District of California certifying a nationwide class of purchasers of ten homeopathic products. Allen v. Hyland’s Inc., Case No. 12-01150 (C.D. Cal. Aug....more

Mortgage Lending: Important Lessons about Advertising, Affiliates, and Authorizations

On August 12, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) entered into a consent order with an online mortgage company, its affiliated appraisal company, and its chief executive officer; they agreed to pay $20.8...more

Privacy Tuesday: August 2014 #2

There is another retail data breach to talk about in this Privacy Tuesday post – privacy & security bits and bytes to start your week....more

Socially Aware - Volume 5, Issue 5 - August 2014

In This Issue: - Data for the Taking: Using the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to Combat Web Scraping - Google Glass Into Europe: A Small Step or a Giant Leap? - Drugs and the Internet: FDA Distributes New...more

Emergency UK Legislation Expands Government Powers to Retain and Intercept Data

On July 17th, the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (“DRIP”) came into effect in the United Kingdom reinstating the Government’s powers to require communication providers to retain traffic data (also known as...more

CFPB Fines Online Mortgage Company And Its Owner For Alleged Deceptive Rate Advertising

On August 12, the CFPB announced a consent order with a nonbank mortgage lender, its affiliated appraisal management company (AMC), and the individual owner of both companies to resolve allegations that the lender deceptively...more

The Food Fight Continues: Vermont AG Seeks to Dismiss Lawsuit Against GMO Labeling Law

In June, we reported on a suit brought by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (“GMA”) seeking to rescind Vermont’s new GMO-labeling statute, Act 120. As we explained in that post, the GMA argues that Act 120 is doubly...more

How to Enforce Terms of Service for Online Social Media Promotions and Contests

General Mills incurred blowback on social media earlier this year when it was suggested the company sought releases for all claims whatsoever from anyone who visited the company Facebook page. The truth, as always, was not as...more

TCPA Connect - August 2014

Capital One Sets Record With $75M TCPA Deal - In what is believed to be the largest Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) settlement on record, Capital One Bank, related companies, and their third-party collection...more

District Court Denies Summary Judgment in Broadcast Rights Class Action

On Friday, August 8, 2014, the Southern District of New York denied motions for summary judgment filed by the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, Comcast Corp. and DirecTV LLC in suits alleging that these...more

CFPB Pressures Banks To Disclose Campus Marketing Agreements

On August 6, the CFPB’s Student Loan Ombudsman, Rohit Chopra, published a blog post addressing the financial arrangements between financial institutions and institutions of higher education that market financial products to...more

Status Updates - August 2014 #7

..Better shop around. In connection with a new staff report, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) examined 121 popular apps used to comparison shop, find online deals and pay with mobile devices; the FTC concluded that many of...more

IP Protection For Novelty T-Shirts: Copyright Or Trademark?

No matter how sophisticated we are on the outside, on the inside everyone has a favorite novelty t-shirt buried deep in the recesses of their juvenile subconscious. Mine is one that says “Welcome to Philadelphia. Now Go...more

I’m Gumby Dammit — A Flexible Trademark?

The Minnesota History Center is currently promoting its Toys of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s exhibit — my favorite promotional billboard is the one captured above, featuring none other than Gumby....more

Status Updates - August 2014 #6

..Ahead of the law? In Hidalgo County, Texas, a former sheriff has been sued civilly over allegedly illegal campaign contributions. (He was also criminally convicted of money laundering.) At a civil deposition in the case, a...more

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