Activist Greenwashing Case In D.C. Runs Aground

“Greenwashing,” a topic of frequent discussion, actually has dictionary definition.  According to Merriam-Webster, greenwashing is “the act or practice of making a product, policy, activity, etc., appear to be more environmentally friendly or less environmentally damaging than it really is.”  A trial court in the District of Columbia recently dismissed a greenwashing case brought by an environmental activist group against a major beverage producer, making some interesting findings in the process.  Earth Island Institute v. Coca-Cola Co., No. 2021 CA 001846 B (D.C. Super. Nov. 10, 2022). Continue reading “Activist Greenwashing Case In D.C. Runs Aground”

Sports Teams Should Take Care When Choosing Sponsorship Partners After FTX’s Collapse

The dramatic collapse last week of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX will also affect those teams, arenas and other sports companies that have naming rights and sponsorship agreements with FTX.

When a sponsorship partner undergoes a dramatic collapse like that suffered by FTX last week, sports teams that have partnered with the company for naming rights and other sponsorship agreements suffer losses on multiple fronts. First, of course, is the loss of the contractually guaranteed income that the team has taken for granted when budgeting for years to come. But beyond that is the reputational harm. Sports is about winning and losing, and no team wants to be associated with a loser.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris partner Alexander Chester, please visit the Duane Morris Sports Law Blog.

Efforts To Dismiss BIPA Claims Involving Virtual Try-On Technology Rejected by Illinois Federal Court

In a significant decision for retailers, Judge Manish Shah of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois recently denied in part Defendant Estée Lauder’s motion to dismiss proposed class action claims that its consumer “try-on” technology violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”).  The Court rejected Defendant’s personal jurisdiction argument, as well as claims that its website terms and conditions required Plaintiff to arbitrate her dispute, and that Plaintiff lacked standing to sue on behalf individuals that used websites Plaintiff herself did not visit. In a decision entitled Kukovec v. The Estée Lauder Companies, Inc., Case No. 22-CV-1988 (N.D. Ill.), the Court determined, however, that Plaintiff did not sufficiently plead that the cosmetics giant intentionally or recklessly violated consumers’ biometric privacy rights, and thereby dismissed those claims.  The ruling in Kukovec illustrates the ongoing legal risks for retailers in using “try-on” tech to enhance customer service.

To read the full text of this post by Gerald L. Maatman, Jr., Gregory Tsonis and Kelly Bonner, please visit the Duane Morris Class Action Defense Blog.

FTC Publishes Proposed Changes to Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced proposed changes to its Endorsement Guides, 16 CFR Part 255, which assist entities in conforming endorsements and testimonials in advertising to the requirements of Section 5 of the FTC Act. FTC continues to review the guides, first published in 1980, as part of its ongoing regulatory review process.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

INFORM Consumer Act Designed to Curb Counterfeits

In March 2021, the Senate reintroduced a revised version of a bill calling for online retailers to publish specific, verified information concerning high-volume third-party sellers of consumer products for their customers. The Integrity, Notification and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces (INFORM) for Consumers Act is directed toward putting an end to the online sale of stolen, counterfeit and unsafe consumer products.

In particular, online marketplaces that include high-volume third-party sellers would be required to authenticate vendors’ identities through essential identification and contact information in the hopes of preventing not only anonymous online sales of counterfeit goods, but also preventing organized retail crime rings from stealing from stores and reselling items online.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

Blockchain and NFTs Are Smart, but Can They Revolutionise the Fashion Industry?

Following the worldwide disruption in retail due to COVID-19, sales of luxury goods are expected to grow as much as 25% in 2022. Much of this growth has been driven by e-commerce, with online sales totalling 23% of all luxury sales in 2020. Meanwhile, consumer sustainability demands have driven growth in luxury resale or rental markets, now worth an estimated $36 billion, while brands have expanded their reach into the brave new digital territory of the metaverse – the overlapping digital spaces in which we increasingly work, play, and consume.

Yet luxury’s digital embrace has been hampered by a concomitant rise in counterfeit goods in the physical and digital worlds.  Is blockchain the solution?

To read the full text of this article co-authored by Duane Morris attorneys Cindy Yang and Kelly Bonner, please visit the Multilaw website.

News For Retailers: New California Law Requires Gender-Neutral Displays for Children’s Items

By Anjuli M. Cargain

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill (“AB”) 1084, requiring retail department stores in California to maintain a gender-neutral section to display toys and certain childcare items beginning January 1, 2024. The new law applies to retail department stores with 500 or more employees within California that are physically located in California; it expressly excludes out-of-state stores.   Continue reading “News For Retailers: New California Law Requires Gender-Neutral Displays for Children’s Items”

Common U.S. Visa Categories for the Fashion and Design Industries

The fashion and design industries employ individuals in various fields of specialization, both in “back office” design and production and “front office” presentation and merchandising, marketing/advertising and sales. To read the full text of this overview of common nonimmigrant and immigrant visa categories allowing employers in these industries to hire and retain foreign talent, written by Duane Morris attorney Susanne Heubel, please visit the Duane Morris Immigration Law Blog.

New “.cfd” Domain Extension Tailored to Capture the Virtual Runway

By Michelle Hon Donovan and Anjuli M. Cargain

ShortDot, a domain name registry company, has announced the launch of .cfd (#ClothingFashionDesign), a specialized generic top-level domain (gTLD) for clothing brands, fashion designers, retailers, influencers, bloggers, consumers and lifestyle ecommerce stores. TLDs were developed in the 1980s and have unique purposes (e.g., .com, commercial; .org, nonprofit organizations; .net, network and internet-related organizations; .edu, educational; .gov, government entities). ShortDot’s webpage for registering the new domain states:

By providing a memorable, unique, and relevant web address, .CFD offers clothing, fashion, cosmetics, and footwear brands and designers a unique opportunity to strengthen their web presence.

Trademark owners can register .cfd domain names during the “sunrise period,” which ends April 12, 2021. Continue reading “New “.cfd” Domain Extension Tailored to Capture the Virtual Runway”

Vanilla is the New Flavor of Food Mislabeling Class Actions

By Ashley Barton

Consumer mislabeling class actions are no novelty in the California food industry, thanks to the state’s trio of consumer protection laws. Plaintiffs have their choice between California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act (Cal. Civ. Code §§1750, et seq.), False Advertising Law (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§17500, et seq.), and Unfair Competition Law (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§17200, et seq.) when alleging that similarly situated buyers are misled by false advertising on a product’s label. The number of these suits specifically pertaining to flavoring of food and beverage products has risen dramatically in the last several years. Continue reading “Vanilla is the New Flavor of Food Mislabeling Class Actions”

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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