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.
Around the world, companies are leaving money on the table. Lack of diversity and inclusion in “The Room Where It Happens,” whether the “IT” is a board-room, an innovation team, or a design team, repeatedly has been shown to affect the bottom line. In the realm of innovation alone, experts have estimated that “the size of the economy could be roughly 3 to 4 percent higher if women and underrepresented minorities were included in the innovative process from beginning to end.” This goes beyond merely showing diversity and rather requires inclusion and input at all levels and areas of the innovation process. A further benefit may be that diverse teams encourage design and innovation that is likely more inclusive of a greater portion of the population.
As most brick and mortar stores across the U.S. remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, phishing scammers have ample opportunities to attack the retail industry online by stealing customer data. One common method scammers use to steal information involves purchasing a domain name that includes (or is confusingly similar to) the name of a well-known business. For example, “typosquatters” might purchase a domain name similar to your business’ domain name, but it could include a common typo that a customer might make when searching for your legitimate website. The fake website might look similar to your legitimate site and prompt customers to input a username, password, credit card number, or other personal information that the scammer could then steal to use or sell.
During a time like this when customers are increasingly looking to purchase consumer goods online (e.g. home décor, kitchen appliances, and home office furniture), businesses selling these goods should be extra vigilant of these misleading (and often, infringing) websites. Businesses can hire trademark watch companies to monitor for any new domains that encompass their trademark or variants thereof. If your business becomes aware of a domain name that encompasses its trademark (or something confusingly similar) in an attempt to mislead consumers, there are a number of steps you can take to protect your brand and customers. Continue reading “Protecting Your Brand and Customers During a Pandemic”
On January 29, 2020, President Trump signed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) into law, with key commitments impacting the personal care products sector.
The 2,082-page pact, which updates the 26-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), comes after more than two years of negotiations, and was overwhelmingly ratified by the U.S. Senate on January 16, 2020.
Significantly, the USMCA contains a new Cosmetic Products Annex, which promotes greater regulatory compatibility and shared best regulatory practices in the personal care products sector.
On January 9, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it will host an all-day public forum to discuss testing methods for asbestos in talc and cosmetic products containing talc on February 4, 2020.
According to the FDA, the purpose of the meeting is to discuss testing methods, terminology, and criteria that can be used to characterize and measure asbestos, as well as what the FDA preliminarily states may be “other potentially harmful elongate mineral particles (EMPs)” that may contaminate talc and cosmetics products that contain talc.
Nanette Heide, Duane Morris partner and Fashion/Retail/Consumer Branded Products Group senior advisory partner, is quoted in Glossy article, “Private Equity Firms Will Get Comfortable With Small Beauty Brands in 2020.”
“The trend will be private equity companies getting involved in brands earlier and taking on a minority stake versus majority control,” she said. “They’ll blur the lines of venture capital in order to make sure they are in early enough, because then brands can catch fire and sell within 16 months.”