Susan Ross (US)

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It’s Not Easy Being Green: FTC Cautions Marketers About “Eco-Friendly” Brand Claims

On October 1, 2012, the FTC issued its revised “Green Guides,” which “apply to environmental claims in labeling, advertising, promotional materials, and all other forms of marketing in any medium, whether asserted directly or by implication, through words, symbols, logos, depictions, product brand names, or any other means.” 16 CFR § 260.1(c). See FTC Release. … Continue reading

Permission of Federal Dilution Claims Against Validly Registered Federal Trademarks in the Works – Update

We previously reported on the proposed amendment to the Trademark Dilution Revision Act, H.R. 6215 (on Aug. 9), which would amend the Lanham Act relating to the effect of federal trademark registration on state law claims.  The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives on September 11 and, on September 12, was referred to the … Continue reading

Advertising, Websites, and Children’s Privacy

Part of protecting a brand includes compliance efforts for advertising and websites in order to avoid unwanted regulatory attention. On September 6, 2012, the manufacturer of BMX bicycles—USA BMX/BMX Canada—agreed to modify its website in response to an inquiry by the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (“CARU”). See Sep. 6, 2012 CARU Press Release. CARU is … Continue reading

Copyright – Customs and Border Protection – Lego v Best-Lock

When a trademark owner registers its marks with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), CBP may seize imported counterfeits based on trademark claims. CBP may also seize shipments from abroad based upon copyright infringement. See 19 C.F.R. §§ 133.41-46. As stated by CBP, “In regard to copyright infringement, articles that are determined by CBP … Continue reading

Branding, promotions and tax savings

Branding and promoting your goods properly can sometimes result in state tax savings, as United Parcel Service (“UPS”) recently demonstrated in a case involving the New York State Tax Law. See Slip Opinion (Aug. 16, 2012). The case involved $3 million in sales and use tax that UPS paid for the purchase of shipping supplies … Continue reading

Addressing rogue websites

As eCommerce accounts for an ever-growing share of retail sales, rogue websites have become a special concern for brand owners seeking to protect their valuable intellectual property from counterfeiters and others seeking a “free ride” on the brand’s goodwill. Just last week, the Department of Justice announced that a man had plead guilty to selling more … Continue reading