Above the Fold
Advertising and marketing can pose a wealth of legal hurdles. When creating content, advertising professionals and companies often incur the scrutiny of regulatory agencies, such as the Federal Trade Commission. In this blog, our team of seasoned trademark and media attorneys address emerging trends and issues in this complex area.
Delaware Intellectual Property Litigation Blog
Delaware is an important hub of business litigation and Fox Rothschild partner Gregory B. Williams closely monitors the decisions issued by the U.S. District Court of Delaware in the areas of antitrust and intellectual property law. This blog has become a resource for industry, the legal community and academia by providing concise synopses of the significant rulings from this influential court.
IP Spotlight Blog
Intellectual property is often the lifeblood of a company. As an experienced IP and registered patent attorney, Jim Singer keeps you up-to-date with the legal and business aspects of intellectual property and other intangible assets on his IP Spotlight blog. Covering topics such as licensing, due diligence, acquisition, compliance and risk management associated with patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets, IP Spotlight provides insight, commentary and tips regarding recent legislation and developments in the industry.
Recent Blog Posts
- Judge Sleet Invalidates Patents-in-Suit After Finding of Obviousness and Enters Judgment in Favor of Alleged Infringer in Hatch-Waxman Action Following a five-day bench trial in the matter in February 2017 and after having considered the entire record in the case and the applicable law, the Court, through Memorandum, entered by The Honorable Gregory M. Sleet in Tris Pharma, Inc. v. Actavis Laboratories FL, Inc., Civil Action No. 14-1309-GMS (consolidated) (D.Del. September 6, 2017), entered judgment in favor Defendant Actavis Laboratories FL, Inc. (“Actavis”) after concluding that all asserted claims of the patents-in-suit are invalid due to obviousness. The patents-in-suit... More
- FDA (Again) Extends Compliance Deadline for Menu Labeling Rules Advertising comes in many forms. Although menu labeling requirements may not seem like a traditional form of advertising, menus are consumer-facing and undoubtedly contain information that affect consumer purchasing decisions. Thus, it’s important for affected companies and their advertising departments to be aware of menu labeling rules and requirements and to ensure timely compliance. For a recent discussion on the Food & Drug Administration’s menu labeling rule, which implements the nutrition labeling provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act... More
- Are Offensive Trademark Registrations on the Rise? In direct response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision striking down the constitutionality of section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which as enacted barred the registration of disparaging trademarks, there is reason to believe that offensive trademark registration applications are on the rise. According to Reuters, there were at least nine new applications filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) between the June 19, 2017 Supreme Court ruling and the end of July 2017. Such marks include versions of... More
- Haters Gonna Hate: Tactics to Avoid When Responding to Bad Customer Reviews Customer feedback is a two-way street. On the one hand, positive customers reviews can inspire trust in potential new customers who might otherwise be apprehensive about purchasing products or services from an unfamiliar company. Negative reviews, on the other hand, typically have the opposite effect. As such, businesses may be tempted to stifle or “bury” negative customer feedback in order to preserve their reputation. Businesses that engage in such complaint suppression tactics, however, run the risk attracting the ire of federal enforcement agencies. For example, just last... More
- Judge Stark Denies Plaintiffs’ Motion for Reconsideration and Grants Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment in Part Finding Certain Claims Patent-Ineligible By Memorandum Opinion entered by The Honorable Leonard P. Stark in Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. T-Mobile USA, Inc. et al., Civil Action No. 13-1632-LPS (D.Del. August 23, 2017) (consolidated), the Court denied Plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration of a prior Order of the Court and granted in part and denied in part Defendants’ motion for summary judgment. Specifically, the Court denied Plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration of the Court’s December 30, 2016 Memorandum Opinion which granted Defendants’ motion for judgment on the... More
- Chief Judge Stark Grants Defendants’ Motion for Invalidity of ‘405 Patent for Nonenablement By Memorandum Opinion entered by The Honorable Leonard P. Stark in Enzo Life Sciences, Inc. v. Abbott Laboratories et al., Civil Action No. 12-274-LPS (D.Del. August 18, 2017 (public version), the Court granted Defendants Abbott Laboratories and Abbott Molecular, Inc.’s Motion for Summary Judgment of Invalidity of U.S. Patent No. 8,097,405 (“the ‘405 patent”) for Nonenablement. “Enablement” requires the specification of a patent to “teach those of skill in the art how to make and how to use the invention... More
- Whack-a-Mole Continues: Latest Attempts to Slap Down Trademark Scammers Trademark professionals often warn our clients to be skeptical when they receive official seeming bills or notices offering pricey and unneeded trademark related services. These scams have been around for as long as I have been practicing trademark law. There are periodic attempts to combat the practice by our community with warnings (we blogged about the issue here), information (the USPTO maintains a blacklist and encourages trademark owners to email a copy of the notice and the envelope it came... More
- Prohibition on Nostalgia? Potential Limits on Marketing Products Using “Kid-Friendly” Names An interesting case has recently been filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois regarding the advertisement of e-cigarette liquids in flavors that seem to be directed to children under the age of 18. Here, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company (“Wrigley”) has filed a lawsuit against Chi-Town Vapers LLC (“Chi-Town”) due to Chi-Town’s use of certain trademarks and trade dress owned by Wrigley. Wrigley is the producer of certain candy products, including gum and mints, and has... More
- Chief Judge Stark Overrules Parties’ Objections, Adopts Judge Burke’s Order Denying Defendants’ Motion to Stay Pending Arbitration and Denies Plaintiff’s Motion to Enjoin Arbitration By Memorandum Order entered by The Honorable Leonard P. Stark in The Gillette Co. v. Dollar Shave Club, Inc. et al., Civil Action No. 15-1158-LPS-CJB (D.Del. August 7, 2017), the Court overruled the parties’ objections to the Memorandum Order issued on March 7, 2017 by Magistrate Judge Burke denying defendants’ motion to stay the action pending arbitration and adopted Judge Burke’s Order. Specifically, the Court overruled defendants’ objections to Judge Burke’s determinations that the Court, and not the Arbitral Tribunal,... More
- Judge Sleet Finds Independent Claims of Patents-in-Suit Invalid and Grants Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Patent Infringement Action By Memorandum Opinion entered by The Honorable Gregory M. Sleet in Jedi Technologies, Inc. v. Spark Networks, Inc. et al., Civil Action No. 16-1055-GMS (D.Del. August 3, 2017), the Court granted defendants’ motion to dismiss plaintiff’s patent infringement action under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) after finding that plaintiff’s patents claim ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Specifically, the Court found that the asserted claims of the patents-in-suit, U.S. Patent Nos. 7,885,977 (“the ‘977 patent”), 8,417,729 (“the... More
- Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label: What You Need to Know On May 20, 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) announced new changes to the Nutrition Facts label required for packaged foods. The FDA’s intent was to create a new label that would make it easier for consumer to make informed food choices and would reflect new scientific information, such as the link between a consumer’s diet and chronic diseases (e.g. obesity and heart disease). The FDA set the original compliance deadline for the new Nutrition Facts label as July 26, 2018, with an additional... More
- “Enter to Win!” Rules for Advertising Product Giveaways and Sweepstakes When done correctly, sweepstakes and prize contests can be an effective tool for building brand awareness and gaining customers. However, businesses that fail to abide by applicable statutes and regulations when using these promotional devices can suffer disastrous consequences, including civil enforcement actions, government inquiries, or even criminal penalties. For instance, earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced it had sent more than $532,000 in restitution payments to victims of a vacation prize scheme. The scheme, conducted primarily by... More
- Judge Sleet Denies Defendants’ Motion to Transfer Venue in Patent Infringement Action By Memorandum Opinion entered by The Honorable Gregory M. Sleet in Koniklijke Philips N.V. v. HTC Corp., Civil Action No. 15-1125-GMS (D.Del. July 18, 2017), the Court denied Defendants’ Joint Motion to Transfer Venue which sought to transfer venue of the patent infringement action to either the Northern District of California, the Western District of Washington, or the Eastern District of New York pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1406, or alternatively to transfer all actions to the Northern District of... More
- @Handle It With #Care: Right of Publicity Tips for Companies Who Market Online Rashanda Bruce writes: In a growing world of technology, companies are employing social media platforms to attract new customers and grow their online presence. #Hashtags and @Handles – made popular by Twitter – have proven to be effective sources for growing business. Hashtags label words, making it easier for customers to find themed information or specific content. Handles create unique identifiers, making it easier for companies to create and market their brand. Celebrities also rely on hashtags and handles to market their... More
- FTC Enforcement and Why It’s Important Paul Fling writes: Fraud, deception, and unfair business practices are problems all companies and consumers are bound to come across. That is where the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) comes in. The FTC enforces federal consumer protection laws—in particular, laws focused on preventing fraud, deception, and unfair business practices. Largely, the FTC enforces federal antitrust and other unfair business practice laws to encourage fair competition in the marketplace and to keep consumer prices low. Put simply, the FTC protects America’s consumers and promotes... More