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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

23andMe Named in Class Action Lawsuit

Things are getting worse for genetic diagnostics company 23andMe. On the heels of receiving a Warning Letter from the FDA over its Personal Genomic Services (PGS) test (see "FDA Threatens Agency Action Against 23andMe Over...more

9 Questions to Ask in Suing a Rival for False Advertising

Advertising is a key ingredient to most companies’ success. Potent advertising can give a rising company a lift and an established business staying power. When deployed by a competitor, advertising can threaten a rival's...more

Accounting Scandal Communications In The Post-Enron World

Fueled by high-profile cases involving Enron, WorldCom, Adelphia, and HealthSouth, accounting and disclosure fraud matters grew to as much as 33 percent of all U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enforcement actions...more

A Bird In The Hand Is Worth … Nothing If You Can’t Really Sell It

A pair of investment firms recently filed suit against Twitter in the Southern District of New York, alleging that Twitter had fraudulently refused to allow them to sell its private stock in advance of its much-anticipated...more

Conflict Reigns in Food Court: Court Allows “Unlawful Prong” UCL Claims to Survive Without Allegations of Reliance in Cases...

Judges in the Northern District of California can’t agree on what is required to state a claim under the “unlawful prong” of California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL). Judge Orrick’s recent decisions in a pair of food...more

Watchdog Attacks Coupon Settlement in False Advertising Action

The recent filing of an amicus brief by advertising watchdog Truth in Advertising Inc. (TINA) is a good reminder that, even where there are no objectors, class action settlements are subject to attack by third parties. The...more

Defeating Economic Loss Claims In Pharma Class Actions

Where product liability actions or government investigators have targeted a prescription drug, class actions follow alleging that patients are entitled to a refund of what they paid for the medicine. The theory of these...more

(A Short History of) The Misuse of Trademarks to Control Free Expression

Paper included in the CLE materials for a panel on which I was a participant at the American Intellectual Property Law Association's annual meeting on October 24, 2013. The Panel was entitled "Trademarks, Goodwill and Free...more

The Massachusetts Securities Division Settlement with Citigroup: What Does It Mean?

A recent Massachusetts Securities Division $30 million settlement with Citigroup Global Markets Inc. (“CGMI”) provides a public glimpse into a less-widely known form of non-public information – a research analyst’s preview of...more

7th Circuit Examines Boundaries of Class Action Fairness Act

This week's post takes a look at the Seventh Circuit's recent decision in Addison Automatics, Inc. v. Hartford Casualty. Ins. Co. that sheds some light on the boundaries of the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), but does so by...more

CFPB and OCC Issue Joint Enforcement Action Related to Credit Card Practices

The CFPB announced that it and the OCC have issued a consent order against two affiliated banks alleging violations of federal consumer protection laws for deceptive marketing of their add-on products (i.e., payment...more

Misbranding Case Against Gerber Over “Stages” Baby Food Products Trimmed but Not Kicked Entirely

A recent case in the Northern District of California against Gerber over alleged misbranding of its “stages” baby food products demonstrates the difficulty companies face in knocking out food misbranding cases at the motion...more

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