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CalRecycle releases much-anticipated guidance on use of the “chasing arrows” symbol and recyclability claims

The “chasing arrows” symbol has been ubiquitous since its introduction in the late 1980’s. Consumers interpret packaging bearing the symbol as recyclable, but according to CalRecycle, the state agency with authority over recycling and waste management, whether a material is accepted for recycling and actually recycled is often dependent on geographic location. In other words, … Continue reading

California 2023 legislative session roundup

The California Legislature was especially busy this past year in the consumer markets space, enacting several key pieces of legislation aimed at addressing concerns over the environment and consumer protection. These include: Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act​ (SB 253) Climate-related risk disclosures (SB 261) Disclosures regarding voluntary carbon offsets, net zero and carbon neutrality claims​ … Continue reading

California enacts trio of ESG laws impacting public and private companies

The recent California legislative session saw the enactment of three pieces of climate legislation that are expected to have a significant impact on companies doing business in California, whether public or private. Senate Bill 253: The Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act SB 253 represents the first concrete climate emissions disclosure requirement in the US. The … Continue reading

California AG issues guidance regarding enforcement of PFAS ban in food packaging and cookware

On October 17, 2023, California Attorney General Rob Bonta issued an enforcement advisory letter to manufacturers, distributors, and sellers of food packaging and cookware regarding enforcement of California’s PFAS restrictions for these product categories. The advisory letter details the requirements and restrictions under AB 1200, many of which went into effect in January 2023, with … Continue reading

CA court shuts down website accessibility claims for online-only businesses

The California Court of Appeal has issued a precedent-setting decision holding that the ADA does not apply to online-only businesses. The decision brings some much needed clarity for online-only businesses in California, although the federal courts are still split on whether websites that have no “nexus” to a physical location can be considered places of … Continue reading

US lamp saga continues with onset of 45 lpw rule

In a fitting continuation of the battle for light bulbs, the US Department of Energy recently finalized rules prohibiting the sale of most general use lamps with an efficiency rating of less than 45 lumens per watt (lpw)(for anyone new to the area, “lamp” in this context means what you typically think of as a “light … Continue reading

California issues second set of revisions to Prop 65 short form warning regulation

In the latest twist in California’s never-ending saga to amend the Proposition 65 “short-form” warning regulation, there’s now been a second proposed change. The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has been for some time attempting to limit the use of short form warnings, although encountering significant push back and concerns from the … Continue reading

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

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

FDA presses pause on CBD enforcement guidance—for now

In the dawn of the new administration, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) withdrew its “Cannabidiol Enforcement Policy,” a document that stakeholders had hoped would deliver long-overdue guidance on cannabidiol (CBD) regulations. The White House had completed its review of the document back in July, although no subsequent action followed, and the contents were … Continue reading

Stream-of-commerce considerations for consumer product patent infringement claims

An initial question a consumer product manufacturer or retailer should consider when sued for patent infringement is: does the court have personal jurisdiction? Determining whether a court has personal jurisdiction to hear a case can help avoid liability and dismiss a case early in the proceedings. This issue can present a difficult question for litigation … Continue reading

Breach of contracts and a social media gaming celebrity

As more and more consumer markets brands turn to influencers and social media stars to promote their products, novel legal issues are bound to arise! Sue Ross and Eva Yang provide their analysis on a case recently litigated in the Southern District of New York that includes claims under California’s Talent Agency Act and the … Continue reading

Plans for reopening begin at state, federal level

State coalitions forming In an effort to plan for reopening their economies, several states have announced regional collaboration efforts. This includes New York and six other Northeastern states, and California, Oregon, and Washington in the west. Earlier this week, California Governor Gavin Newsom outlined a framework to reopen the western economies, predicated on six key indicators:… Continue reading

Los Angeles orders workers and customers to wear face coverings

We are continuing to track state and local restrictions, updated daily, here. In a sign of things that may be coming nationally, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has issued an “emergency order” requiring employees of “Essential Businesses” to wear face coverings. The order also requires customers visiting such businesses to wear face coverings, at the … Continue reading
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