May 8, 2019 To date, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) has refused registration for cannabis and derivative products on the basis that such goods were unlawful for use under federal law. The passage of the Farm Bill, on December 20, 2018, removed hemp from the Controlled Substances List and gave states the…

May 7, 2019  Last month, the State of Indiana Attorney General’s Office (“Indiana AG”) filed a lawsuit in Indiana state court against defendant Hopkins and Raines Inc. (“H&R”). The prize promotion lawsuit alleged that H&R deceptively advertised prize promotions in violation of the Indiana Deceptive Consumer Sales Act (Indiana Code § 24-5-0.5-1 et seq.) and…

May 2, 2019 In a precedent setting decision, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (“CRTC”) has fined the President and Chief Executive Officer of a group of businesses for Canada Anti-Spam Law (“CASL”) compliance violations.  The CRTC levied a fine against the executive in the amount of $100,000 after an investigation determined that the companies…

May 1, 2019 In Tampa, Florida, two local proprietors are negotiating over the use of “Florida Avenue” in their respective branding. Florida Avenue Brewing Company was the first to use the geographic location in its name and believes that Florida Avenue Eats, located only a mile and a half down the street, will cause consumers…

April 16, 2018 In a fax lawsuit involving allegations against AT&T Mobility LLC and AT&T Mobility National Accounts LLC (“AT&T”) for violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), a federal judge in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut recently denied a motion for class certification brought by the former corporate…

April 15, 2019 Mobile App Contests: A Potent Marketing Pairing Over the past few years, businesses have discovered that mobile applications (or “apps”), when used to conduct sweepstakes and other promotional contests, represent a potent means to attract new customers and create positive interactions with existing customers.  Unsurprisingly, given these trends in merging marketing with…

April 12, 2019  Last month, a federal court in New York dismissed a putative class action lawsuit brought by thirteen named plaintiffs (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) against a national sweepstakes operator (“Defendant”). In this sweepstakes lawsuit, the Plaintiffs alleged that Defendant violated the federal CAN-SPAM Act, the Deceptive Mail Prevention and Enforcement Act (“DMPEA”), and New York…

April 11, 2019 In February 2019, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court’s summary judgment ruling that found that BOOKING.COM was not generic, but a descriptive mark with acquired distinctiveness.  Trademark lawyers are intrigued by the fact that, as pointed out in Judge James Wynn’s dissenting opinion, the decision…

April 5, 2019 This week, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that it had reached a settlement of charges that it had brought against a company and its owner for practices that the FTC alleged violated negative option and online review laws. What was the nature of the alleged online review law violations?

April 2, 2019 In recent years, lawsuits alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) have become among the most frequently filed lawsuits in the federal courts.  The number of TCPA cases filed in 2018 was staggering – 4,392.  The exposure to potential liability in such lawsuits can threaten to jeopardize the financial viability…

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