“Made in the USA”* (*Unless Sold in California): The Kwikset Decision and Its Implications on U.S.- marked Goods

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On January 27, the California Supreme Court issued an opinion in the case Kwikset v. Benson. The question answered by the Court here was facially narrow: whether an individual possessed standing to sue a company under a state unfair competition law. However, the implications of this case may have a nationwide impact on companies that use “Made in the USA” markings for their goods.

As a brief background, Kwikset Corporation is a manufacturer of locksets. It had marked these products as “Made in the USA,” even though some of its locksets contained screws or pins made in Taiwan and some subassemblies were manufactured in Mexico. James Benson, a California resident, purchased these locksets with the misleading origin markings before learning of the foreign parts and manufacturing.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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