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

California District Court grants preliminary injunction barring Prop 65 acrylamide lawsuits

Prop 65 claims for alleged exposure to acrylamide in food are all too common. In the first three months of 2021 alone there have been 109 acrylamide notices issued. Acrylamide is not a chemical that is intentionally added to food, but rather forms in many types of foods when cooked at high temperatures, including chips, … 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

California flammability standard for upholstered furniture goes national

On December 21, 2020, Congress passed The Safer Occupancy Furniture Flammability Act (SOFFA), which was presented alongside other legislation in a $1.4 trillion COVID relief omnibus bill. SOFFA requires the adoption of California’s TB 117-2013 as a federal flammability standard for residential upholstered furniture. TB 117-2013 outlines performance standards and methods for testing the smolder … Continue reading
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