Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices

News & Analysis as of

Advertising in MA: Can Consumers Bring Class Actions for ‘Deceptive’ Advertising that has Neither Deceived Nor Harmed Them?

If your company advertises and sells products in Massachusetts, it could be subjected to a class action lawsuit by Massachusetts consumers who purchased one of its products if the consumers can show that a reasonable person...more

A Sweepstakes Lawyer Can Help Keep Promotion Sponsors out of Hot Water

Last Thursday, the Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC” or “Commission”) sued several individuals and businesses in a Los Angeles federal court for engaging in allegedly deceptive sweepstakes sponsorship and marketing...more

CFPB Sues Credit Repair Company for Misleading Claims and Illegal Fees

On September 22, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against a credit repair company for allegedly making misleading...more

Wells Fargo Week, Part III-the Bank Knew All Along

You know it is going to be a very bad day when, as a company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), you receive a letter asking the following, “Specifically, the committee should thoroughly examine this issue, including: How it is...more

I May Not Be Able To Pronounce Acai But I Know It Doesn’t Burn Fat Cells: 5 Recent Over-the-Top Weight Loss Advertising Claims And...

Some say “ah-sigh;” I say “ah-kai;” but apparently the proper pronunciation of “acai” — the so-called super berry — is actually “ah-sigh-ee.” Who knew? Acai berries are native to the Amazon rainforest and have been hailed...more

Payment Processer Challenges CFPB’s Allegation That It Engaged in Unfair Practices

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (“CFPB”) lawsuit against payment processor Intercept Corporation remains pending, and recent briefing sheds light on what could result in broad implications for the payment...more

Empty spaces causing big problems: the rise of slack-fill litigation

Last month, a district court judge in California dismissed a highly publicized lawsuit in which the plaintiff claimed that Starbucks’ iced beverages contained too much ice and not enough coffee. The suit was the subject of...more

OCC, CFPB Charge Bank With Illegal Credit Card Practices

Two regulators have forced one bank to pay $35 million for allegedly improper credit card practices—including fines owed to both the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau...more

CFPB Issues Consent Order Against Education Company For Illegal Student Lending Practices

On September 12, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) announced the issuance of a consent order with a for-profit college chain that allegedly deceived its students into taking out loans that were more...more

House of Representatives Passes Consumer Review Fairness Act and Better Online Ticket Sales Acts

The House of Representatives passed two bills last week relevant to the advertising industry: the Consumer Review Fairness Act and the Better On-line Ticket Sales Act (“BOTS Act”). The Consumer Review Fairness Act is...more

CT Unfair Trade Practices Act is Only a Sword – Not a Shield in Foreclosure Actions

Appellate Case Update - The Connecticut Appellate Court has (finally) recently weighed in on the topic of whether or not a claimed defense of a violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (“CUTPA”)...more

CFPB enters into consent order with for-profit college owner

The CFPB announced that it has entered into a consent order with Bridgepoint Education, Inc., the owner of two for-profit colleges, to settle charges that the company’s representatives engaged in deceptive acts or practices...more

California Court Hands CFPB a Noteworthy Victory Against CashCall, Inc.

In a closely watched case pending in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, the CFPB obtained a significant victory against CashCall Inc. (“CashCall”) and its affiliates. The Court’s...more

Ninth Circuit Strips FTC of ‘Activities-Based’ Jurisdiction over Common Carriers

The FTC has no jurisdiction over common carriers even when they engage in non-common carrier activity, according to a recent U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit opinion. In FTC v. AT&T Mobility, No. 15-16585 (9th...more

Trade Dress Infringement: Ivanka Trump Sued for Stepping on Aquazzura’s Toes

On June 21, 2016, Aquazzura Italia SRL (“Aquazzura”), an Italian shoe company, filed a complaint against Ivanka Trump, IT Collection LLC, Marc Fisher Holdings LLC, and M.B. Fisher LLC (collectively, the “Defendants”) for...more

Washington AG Settles with Makeup Company Over Marketing Practices

On September 6, 2016, the Washington State Attorney General announced a settlement with Julep Beauty, Inc. and its owner Jane Park. The settlement requires the defendants to pay $3 million for using deceptive “negative...more

Of “Lunch Stands and Merry-Go-Rounds”: Ninth Circuit’s Rejection of FTC Authority Over “Throttling” Could Have Far Reaching...

On August 29th, a Ninth Circuit panel unanimously held that the FTC has no power to challenge “throttling” of unlimited data plan customers by mobile broadband providers as an “unfair or deceptive act.” The panel found that...more

FTC Announces Settlement with Law Firms Over Alleged Debt Relief Scheme

On September 1, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced it entered into a stipulated order for permanent injunction against a group of regional law firms over allegations the firms violated the Federal Trade...more

Alleged Mortgage Modification and Debt Relief Scammers to Pay FTC $13.5 Million

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida had granted a summary judgment motion against various businesses, law firms and individuals...more

One Less Sheriff In Town: Ninth Circuit Rules that Communications Common Carriers are Exempt from FTC Enforcement

On August 29, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a major decision restructuring how common carriers are regulated at the federal level. The Ninth Circuit interpreted Section 5 of the FTC Act, which...more

Advertising Law - August 2016 #3

ANA, 4As Battle Over Transparency Guidance - Two industry groups are engaging in a public battle over transparency. The dispute began when a joint task force was formed between the American Association of...more

LabMD Seeks Stay of FTC’s Final Order Pending Appeal

Not surprisingly, on August 30, 2016, LabMD filed its Application for a Stay of the Final Order of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) pending review of the order by the appellate court. But since the matter is still pending...more

Ninth Circuit Decision in AT&T “Throttling” Case May Reset Boundaries Between FTC and FCC Jurisdiction

On Monday, August 29, 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion that may dramatically alter the boundaries between the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) and Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) authority...more

Coal Plant Shutdowns: Operators Have Cyber Protection Obligations Even After Closing

As Yogi Berra used to say: “It ain’t over till it’s over.” Coal plant operators shutting down their plants should remember this phrase. Even after they throw the breakers, go off the grid, are no longer contributing to the...more

FTC Reverses Its ALJ and Finds LabMD Section 5 Violation

The Federal Trade Commission recently vacated the decision of its Chief Administrative Law Judge and on July 29, 2016 entered a final order against LabMD potentially expanding previous interpretations of what constitutes...more

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