Unfair Competition

News & Analysis as of

Drug Testing Company Settles FTC Case Alleging Invitation to Collude

The FTC has entered into a final settlement with Drug Testing Compliance Group LLC (DTC Group) by order issued January 21, 2016, resolving an administrative case that alleged DTC Group had invited a competitor to collude with...more

WSGR Obtains First-of-Its-Kind Precedent on California's Automatic Renewal Law

A host of Silicon Valley companies have been targeted by suits claiming that recurring payments the companies receive for services have been obtained in violation of California's Automatic Renewal Law (ARL), Business and...more

Is the Washington Legislature Caching Out Noncompete Agreements? How This Change Might Affect Your Ability to Protect Your...

For tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon, and any number of emerging tech companies, tech professionals are a hot commodity in the state of Washington. No doubt, the competition is fierce here in Seattle and within the...more

Can Lenders Foreclose While a Borrower’s Loan Modification Application is Under Review?

A recent decision by the California Court of Appeal held that the practice called “dual tracking” – when a lender forecloses on a property while the borrower’s application for a loan modification is under review – violates...more

Top 10 Trade Secrets and Unfair Competition Developments

There were several noteworthy developments in 2015 in the area of trade secrets and unfair competition. This post focuses on developments affecting California employers. Due to the unsettled nature of some of the law, this...more

Recent Georgia Court of Appeals Case Highlights Alternative Theories of Relief in Unfair Competition Case

Beginning in law school, attorneys are trained to learn from reported appellate cases, and that education never stops. In a recent Georgia Court of Appeals case involving claims of unfair competition, Lyman v. Cellchem Int’l...more

Tax State Aid: The European Commission concludes Belgian ‘excess profit’ rulings illegal

On January 11 2016, the European Commission (the Commission) again used Tax State Aid arguments to combat tax planning by multinationals when it announced its final decision in the formal state aid investigation into the...more

Are Referral Sources Protectable Under Florida Law?

The question of whether referral sources constitute legitimate, protectable business interests under Florida's Covenants Against Unfair Competition statute, Fla. Stat. § 542.335 (2014), is likely heading to the Florida...more

Stand Down! Court Rejects Yakult Yogurt False Advertising Class for Lack of Standing

On January 5, 2016, in Torrent v. Yakult U.S.A., Inc., U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney denied the plaintiff’s motion to certify a class of Yakult yogurt consumers who were allegedly misled by Yakult’s packaging and...more

In re Capacitors Antitrust Class Action Update: Claims Slightly Narrowed, Parties Continue Discovery

When we last wrote in June 2015 about In re Capacitors Antitrust Litig., No. 14-03264-JD, consolidated putative class actions pending before Judge James Donato in the Northern District of California, the plaintiffs had just...more

Corporate Defendants Find a Safe Harbor in California Transparency Litigation

A District Court judge in California has dismissed a complaint against Nestlé USA Inc. and Nestlé Purina Petcare Co. (together “Nestlé”) which argued that the company was obligated to inform consumers that seafood in its...more

Living in a Nonmaterial World: Determining IP Rights for Digital Data

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) regulates U.S. trade and oversees Section 337 investigations that address unfair competition based on alleged infringement of intellectual property rights. The ITC has been a...more

Wage and Hour Law Continues to Be Hot

The number of federally filed wage and hour cases hit a new high in 2015, and, as Corporate Counsel reports, this trend is likely to continue in 2016. Similarly, California’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement is...more

Trademark Bully or Not?

Chrysler and Moab Industries LLC (“Moab”) have been battling over the Moab mark for years. Moab holds the federally registered trademark Moab Industries®. Its business involves customization or uplifting vehicles—primarily...more

Don’t Tip Just Yet: Uber Taxi Class Gets Limited Certification

A federal judge in San Francisco recently certified a limited class in a lawsuit against Uber under the California Unfair Competition Law (UCL) and the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA). The plaintiff sought to...more

Court Holds That Damage Waiver and Forced Place Protection Plan in Self Storage Rental Agreement Is Not Insurance

In Heckart v. A-1 Self Storage (No. D066831, filed 12/30/15) a California appeals court held that damage waiver, indemnity and insurance provisions of a self-storage facility’s rental agreement did not make a forced-place...more

Court Applies Safe Harbor Doctrine To CA Transparency in Supply Chains Act

I first wrote about the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act more than four years ago. See California To Require Website Disclosure Regarding Efforts To Eradicate Slavery And Human Trafficking. At the time, I noted...more

"4th Antitrust Set" of amendments

On 5 October 2015 the President of the Russian Federation signed the Federal Law No. 275-FZ "On Amending the Federal Law "On Protection of Competition" and Other Legal Acts of the Russian Federation", so-called the "4th...more

Law À La Mode - Landmark Case for Counterfeit Goods Infringement in China

In a recent landmark decision, the newly established Beijing Intellectual Property Court (Court) awarded the first ever maximum statutory damage under China’s new trademark law in favor of French-Italian luxury outwear maker...more

Don’t Deceive Me: Claims for Mislabeled Organic Food in CA

If a food is labeled organic, but is not actually organic, can a consumer bring state law claims under consumer protection statutes? In California, it appears that the answer is yes. In a recent case, Quesada v. Herb Thyme...more

Ninth Circuit Resolves Federal/State Court Split Regarding Whether “Latent” Defects Discovered After Duration of Warranty Period...

In Daniel v. Ford Motor Company (filed 12/02/15), the Ninth Circuit resolved a federal and state court split on the issue of whether consumers can sustain a breach of implied warranty claim under California’s Song Beverly...more

Three Point Shot - December 2015

Keep Off the (Patented) Grass - Maintaining a beautiful lawn usually requires a lot of work, unless you are friends with Edward Scissorhands or install a "Brady Bunch" lawn of artificial grass instead. Installing...more

"EU Allegations of Qualcomm Market Abuse Indicative of Global Enforcement Trend"

On December 8, 2015, the European Commission filed two Statements of Objections against U.S. semiconductor-maker Qualcomm Inc., alleging that the company had abused its dominant position in the baseband chipset market through...more

The CMA will see you now

On 3 December 2015, the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) wrote an open letter to private medical practitioners in the UK stressing the importance of making independent commercial decisions and warning against...more

California Supreme Court Holds That Federal Organic Food Labeling Regime Does Not Preempt Claims of “Intentional” Mislabeling

What’s the difference between claiming that a food product is improperly certified as organic and claiming that the producer was properly certified but the product isn’t really organic? A unanimous California Supreme Court...more

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