News & Analysis as of

House Subcommittee Approved TROL Act Defining Bad Faith Communications Made During Patent Assertion as Unfair or Deceptive...

The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade considered and approved the Targeting Rogue and Opaque Letters Act of 2014 (“TROL Act”) with a 13-6 vote. The purpose of the TROL Act...more

What is the Scope of the FTC’s Authority When it Comes to Data Security? Wyndham Asks Third Circuit to Consider

In early July, Wyndham Hotels asked the Third Circuit Court of Appeals to decide whether the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has the authority to oversee corporate data security. Although the FTC has brought dozens of actions...more

Turning The Tide on “Trolls”

When a non-practicing entity (NPE) accused 16,000 small businesses of violating its patent by merely emailing scanned documents, the New York attorney general cracked down, forcing a settlement. Then the FTC threatened to sue...more

Round Two for Snapchat: Agreement with the Maryland Attorney General Settling Claims of Consumer Deception and COPPA Violations

Just a little over a month after settling charges of false promises of disappearing user messages (among other things) with the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), mobile app developer Snapchat, Inc. (“Snapchat” or “Company”)...more

3 Data Breach Liability and Care Standards to Know Now

Privacy and Cyber Security Litigation (PCS Litigation) has recently experienced extensive growth, particularly when it comes to the liabilities associated with a data breach. PCS Litigation involving data breach may be...more

Privacy Alert: Judge Backs FTC Authority in Data Breach Case Against Franchisor

On April 7, a federal judge denied the motion of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, LLC (“Wyndham”) to dismiss a complaint brought by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) for unfair or deceptive acts or practices based on alleged...more

FTC Uses Its "Unfair Acts" Power to Go After PHI Security Breach

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is moving forward with an administrative action against a small medical laboratory that suffered two data security breaches, resulting in its patients’ protected health information falling...more

The Law Of Unfair Trade Practices

“The ACC” stands for more than a sports league. It’s also the Association of Corporate Counsel. In February of this year, I gave a talk to the RTP Chapter of the organization on the law of unfair trade practices. The...more

Federal Trade Commission Extends In re Polygram’s “Inherently Suspect” Anticompetitive Analysis to Endorsements

The Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) recent settlement with ski manufacturers Marker Volkl (International) GmbH (“Marker Volkl”) and Tecnica S.p.A. (“Tecnica”) continues to expand the scope of “inherently suspect” business...more

Not-So-Sweet Smell of Success: When Does Ambient Scent Marketing Become a Deceptive Trade Practice?

Scent marketing is as old as a realtor baking cookies in a house up for sale and as new as Oscar Mayer’s “bacon” alarm clock. Harnessing the primal power of smell represents a final frontier of subliminal advertising....more

FTC Ordered to Testify Regarding Data Security Standards in LabMD Dispute

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has suffered a significant setback in its ongoing dispute with LabMD, a now-closed medical laboratory that the FTC charged with failing to adopt reasonable data security practices that...more

FTC Settles Suit Against Tribe-Affiliated Lenders; Dispute Over CFPB Investigation Of Tribe-Affiliated Lenders Moves To Federal...

On April 11, the FTC announced that a tribe-affiliated payday lending operation and its owner agreed to pay nearly $1 million to resolve allegations that they engaged in unfair and deceptive acts or practices and violated the...more

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

Social Networking for Jerks: FTC Goes After Site for Scraping Facebook Content

In the 1979 Carl Reiner film The Jerk, a new phonebook is delivered and Steve Martin, playing the title character, rejoices that “I'm somebody now! Millions of people look at this book every day! This is the kind of...more

Failure To Protect Data May Be an Unfair Business Practice

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced settlement of charges against Accretive Health, Inc. The FTC had alleged that Accretive engaged in an unfair business practice when it failed "to employ reasonable and...more

BREAKING NEWS: FTC Announces Major Settlement with Apple

Apple Agrees to Pay Consumers At Least $32.5 Million to Settle Complaint of Unfair Billing Related to Children’s In-App Charges - FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez just announced (press conference) that Apple, Inc....more

FTC Ramps Up Enforcement Actions Under Revised Green Guides To Include Deceptive Biodegradable Plastics Claims

As United States consumers are progressively willing to pay more for environmentally friendly products, businesses catering to this market are making an ever-growing number of representations about the “green” qualities of...more

FTC Emphasizes 'Aggressive Enforcement' and 'Vigorous Education' on Military Consumer Protection Issues

Charles A. Harwood, Deputy Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection of the Federal Trade Commission, testified before a U.S. Senate committee last week about military consumer protection issues. Deputy Director Harwood's...more

Attacked On All Fronts : FTC Defends Its Authority to Sue Companies That Are Victims of Hacking for “Unfair” Security Practices

Getting hacked by Russian hackers three times in two years has turned out to be only half of the problem for Wyndham Worldwide Corporation. The Federal Trade Commission, in a broad interpretation of the authority granted to...more

Big Brother is Watching You (Shop For Pants): Mobile analytics firms implement code of conduct for tracking customers while they...

If you’ve ever dealt with that pushy salesperson at Bed, Bath & Beyond who won’t take your word for it that you’re just browsing and not ready to commit to a high-end home espresso machine, you know that being followed around...more

Focused On Franchise Law - October 2013

FRANCHISOR 101: PRINCIPALS NOT LIABLE UNLESS THEY PARTICIPATE IN FRAUD - In Sig, Inc. v. AT&T Digital Life, Inc., a federal district court in Miami held that the principal officers of a home and business security and...more

FTC Takes Tough Action Against ‘Scareware’ Tactics

A great way to make money is to develop a product or service that responds to a consumer want or demand, and then to stay ahead of prospective competitors by offering better pricing or quality. A not-so-great way to make...more

Privacy: The FTC Takes Action And Warns Private Industry

If you had asked me ten years ago whether privacy would become the focus of government enforcement actions, I would have brushed aside the issue with a cavalier – “No Way!!” In the aftermath of 9/11, there was always a focus...more

CFPB Files Complaint Alleging Violation of Telemarketing Sales Rule

The CFPB filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Central District of California against a debt-relief service company alleged to have violated the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule and engaged in deceptive...more

Snapshot of the Guidelines for Technology Licensing Arrangements of Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission

As Taiwanese manufacturers rely strongly upon licensed technologies to compete in world markets, Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission (the “FTC”) issued its Guidelines for Technology Licensing Arrangements on January 20, 2001,...more

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