How to Navigate FIFA & IOC’s Extra IP Protection
In this episode of Fashion Counsel, Anthony Lupo talks with Intellectual Property partner Cristina Carvalho about legal concerns fashion brands should consider when developing advertising campaigns around the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Advertising, Data Collection & Privacy
Arent Fox has developed for its fashion and luxury goods clients processes for the collection of customer data at store fronts and via the Internet. In this regard, we have assisted clients with the implementation of global privacy policies that allow for the transfer of customer and employee data across borders and for the use of that data for all types of purposes, from internal uses to marketing to data mining. On the advertising side, we review our clients’ advertisements for claims and comparisons. Our attorneys have also worked with our clients in global sweepstakes and contests to gather consumer data and promote their brand.
How to Navigate FIFA & IOC’s Extra IP Protection
What Made News?
In a recent letter, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleged that a promotional contest on Pinterest violated Section 5 of the FTC Act. Although the FTC did not take any direct enforcement action against Cole Haan, the letter forced Cole Haan to discontinue the contest and is one of the first instances in which the FTC has offered an opinion about what it takes to keep social media contests and promotions on the right side of federal advertising laws.
On April 9, 2014, Anthony V. Lupo will participate in a panel discussion about advertising and updates in the FTC at the 2014 Legal and Regulatory Conference. The panel, titled “Don Draper in the Digital Age: How Technology is Changing the Law of Advertising,” will cover topics such as native advertising, social media, the internet of things and consumer consent, and behavioral advertising.
Four members of Congress recently asked the Federal Trade Commission to launch a federal investigation into the marketing practices conducted by outlet stores. They are arguing that because of the way outlets market their products, consumers may be unaware that lower quality items never intended to be sold at the regular retail store are often made available in the retailer’s outlet collection.
A recent state court decision in California could prove a major headache for online retailers that engage in comparative price advertising. Although the decision — People of the State of California v. Overstock.com — is not binding precedent and its future on appeal is far from clear, the decision suggests that retailers may be forced to adopt more rigorous internal standards when engaging in comparative price advertising.
In a recent decision from the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Lee v. Intelius Inc., 9th Cir., No. 11-35810, 12/16/13, the Court held that an online consumer could not be compelled to arbitrate a class action because the essential elements of a contract were not present.
As you may have heard, we are on the verge of a vast expansion of the Internet. Currently, there are only about two dozen generic top-level domains (“gTLDs”), such as .com, .net, and .info. However, there will soon be more than 1,000 new gTLDs, many of which are relevant to companies in the fashion and luxury goods industries. For example, third parties have applied for the right to operate .clothing and .fashion as new gTLDs. Other notable applications include .beauty, .boutique, .buy, .design, .home, .life, .lifestyle, .living, .luxe, .luxury, .sale, .shoes, .shop, .shopping, .store, and .style. Finally, a handful of premier fashion brands opted to apply for the exclusive right to operate the gTLD matching their brand, including .cartier, .chanel, .gucci, .hermes, and .tiffany, and some department stores also choose to apply for their brands, such as .bloomingdales. Fashion and luxury brands must therefore consider the impact of this gTLD expansion on their business and decide how to proceed, both offensively and defensively.
Companies are advised to thoroughly investigate the companies they hire to manage their online reputations and reviews to ensure that only truthful and accurate reviews and comments from actual consumers are posted online. A company that does not thoroughly investigate the companies they use could find themselves in violation of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (the 'Guides'). The Guides set forth the principles that the FTC uses when evaluating testimonials and endorsements.
Last month, Time Style reported that a class action law suit was filed against Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie for allegedly leading customers to believe that they needed to provide their zip code to complete a purchase. In stores, retailers often collect customer data at the transaction point, but as seen in the Urban Outfitters/Anthropologie case, it is problematic as the US moves towards considering certain types of data, like zip code and email, sensitive.
Overcoming the challenges of fighting organized crime networks involved in industrial scale illicit trade and counterfeiting, international partnerships recently led to 6,000 arrests and the seizure of 24 million fake goods worth nearly $133 million US dollars during INTERPOL-led operations codenamed “Black Poseidon II” (Europe), “Etosha” (Africa), “Hurricane” (Asia), and “Pacific” (the Americas) in May and June. Seized goods included fake consumer electronics, DVDs, mobile phones, tobacco, and cooking oil.
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