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

California moves to restrict the use of short-form Prop 65 warnings

On January 8, 2021, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking significantly limiting the use of the short-form warning as a safe harbor. The proposed regulation makes the following changes: Limiting the use of the short-form warning to products with 5 square inches or less of label … 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

Coffee roasters and retailers defeat Proposition 65 lawsuit

We previously wrote about a regulation issued last year by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) exempting chemicals in coffee from Proposition 65’s warning requirement.  The question then was what effect the new regulation would have on the long-pending industry-wide enforcement action brought by the Council for Education and Research on Toxics … 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
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