Plaintiffs must actually intend to use services for website accessibility claims

Businesses scored a win in a recent California Court of Appeal decision affirming a defense jury verdict in a website accessibility lawsuit. In Cheryl Thurston v. Omni Hotels Management Corp., the court held that for a plaintiff to prevail in such a claim, she must show a “bona fide intent” to actually use the defendant’s … Continue reading

Consumer products and IP (Part 6): deriving a copyright for consumer products

Although other forms of intellectual property tend to be most relevant to consumer product makers, copyright ownership is also an important consideration and can play a key role in product development and protection. Copyrights protect artistic works, and given the creativity that goes into product design, there are many aspects of a consumer product that can … Continue reading

Consumer products and IP (Part 5): the download on trademarks for consumer products

Given the influence trademarks have on consumer decisions, proactive strategies by consumer product companies can yield short- and long-term gains. Trademarks influence consumers by connecting a product to a company—a simple means to increase recognition and boost sales. But, ignoring competitor’s rights could lead to legal consequences, marketing limitations, and even seizure of infringing goods.  What … Continue reading

Consumer products and IP (Part 4): demystifying the impact of trade secret misappropriation for consumer products

Trade secrets protect consumer product companies by preventing competitors from stealing unique knowledge. Rights under trade secret law cover valuable knowhow that is not publicly known. In enforcing their rights, companies can prevent the exchange of information, taking of documents, and even movement of employees. Not understanding when a trade secret is improperly acquired, used, or … Continue reading

How data privacy can affect consumer goods

Check out this recent post on our NT Analyzer blog from my colleagues, Steve Roosa and Dan Rosenzweig, regarding data privacy impacts on the consumer markets/retail space. Steve and Dan will be featured tomorrow, June 3, at the International Association of Privacy Professionals Global Privacy Summit to discuss best practices in managing digital privacy risk, … Continue reading

Consumer products and IP (Part 3): the intersection between consumer products and design patents

Although utility patents are far-and-away the most common type of patents, design patents present additional options for protecting consumer products. These patents stop competitors from copying a product’s unique and inventive look and/or design. Recent decisions have granted significant infringement damages to patent owners—with one such case resulting in a $339 million verdict. (See Samsung Electronics … Continue reading

Consumer products and IP (Part 2): what’s a patent got to do with it?

Consumer product companies face unique exposure to utility patent infringement. Patents can impact multiple aspects of consumer products, from manufacturing and shipping to compositions and use. Active patent management strategies can help avoid liability while simultaneously protecting rights. Understanding these consequences and strategies can provide companies a legally-enforceable marketplace advantage. What is a utility patent? … Continue reading

Social media apps, CDA section 230, and products liability

Earlier this month, we saw an eye-opening Ninth Circuit opinion regarding products liability theories applied to social media apps. In short, the Ninth Circuit held section 230 of the Communications Decency Act does not shield the owner of a social media app from liability for third party content when the dispute involves the design of … Continue reading

Consumer products and IP (Part 1): why it matters

Intellectual property (IP) rights can be a blessing and a curse for consumer product designers, manufacturers, and sellers. IP rights allow companies to protect their own creations, limit others from obtaining detrimental IP rights, provide licensing opportunities, and help deter legal challenges. But consumer products companies also face significant exposure to IP infringement claims in … Continue reading

FDA CBD enforcement continues under Biden

In the first few months of the Biden Administration, the Food and Drug Administration has continued to actively pursue companies marketing and selling CBD products in violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (the “FD&C Act”), picking up where the Trump administration left off. FDA’s recent efforts target products marketed as unapproved drugs … Continue reading
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