Spreading The Influence: FTC Issues New Guidance for Influencers

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) continues to focus on influencer advertising, as part of its consumer protection mission.  On November 5, 2019, the FTC released an instructive “Disclosure 101” Guide and “Advice for Social Media Influencers” video to help influencers understand their legal obligations when they are spreading their influence through social media posts, videos, or other media channels. Links to the Guide and Video are here.

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Legal Issues to Consider when Planning Prize Promotions

International prize promotions are regularly used by brands to engage with consumers through the use of social media and other platforms.  In a recent publication, team members, Carlton Daniel, Andrea Ward and Jessica Dye, discuss the legal issues marketers should be considered when running such promotions. The publication addresses the gambling laws of various jurisdictions and the requirements for prize draws versus prize competitions and the IP rights of influencers.

Bio/Pharma Newsletter

The November issue of Squire Patton Boggs Bio/Pharma Beat is now available. Our monthly newsletter reports on important patent law developments in biotech, biologics and pharmaceutical cases, legislation and federal agency actions. This month’s issue covers relevant news from October 2019, including:

  • The Federal Circuit holds the “hope” that a potentially promising drug will treat a particular cancer is not enough to establish a reasonable expectation of success
  • The Federal Circuit holds a method of treating hepatitis C with a genus of compounds invalid for lack of enablement and written description
  • California enacts a “pay for delay” law

Not So Hot: Challenger Bank Fails in Attempts to Register “Hot Coral” Colour Mark

There are some colours that consumers associate with particular brands. For example, EasyJet is known for its distinctive orange livery, while Cadbury is known for the dark purple colour which it uses on the packaging of some of its chocolate bars and in its advertising. However, it is far from straightforward for brands to register colours as trade marks, and thus to take advantage of the monopoly rights afforded to trade mark proprietors. Continue Reading

Buy Now, Pay Later – New Compliance Rules Coming into Force

It was recently reported that Marks & Spencer is to offer a ‘buy now, pay later’ option on its website for online customers. The company  is modernising its services with the introduction of this payment scheme. Marks & Spencer joins the likes of ASOS and H&M in offering buy now, pay later (“BNPL“) services.

How does it work?

BNPL is typically an interest bearing option that enables customers to delay paying for goods or by paying in instalments. Delayed periods can be as long as 12 months. It differs from hire purchase because with BNPL, the customer owns the goods on purchase, it is just that the due date for payment for the goods is delayed. Continue Reading

Update on the ODR/ADR Platforms – Consumer Law

Introduction and summary

The European Commission recently published a Report on the effectiveness of the EU framework for online dispute resolution (ODR) and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for consumers. The report demonstrates that whilst the use of ODR and ADR has increased, consumer awareness remains insufficient. The Commission is looking to improve the use of ADR platforms and part of this will no doubt include enforcement of the rules at Member State level.

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Navigating the US Litigation Climate

Steven Auvil, partner and leader of our US IP litigation practice will serve as a moderator at IAM’s Patent Litigation: Navigating the Law and Policy Landscape in the U.S., on November 5th in Washington DC.

Steven’s panel, “Navigating the US Litigation Climate” will discuss lessons IP owners can learn from this past year’s docket, the state of play with 101, Supreme Court updates, and the Federal Circuit’s impact as the PTAB’s appeals court. Session panelists include:

  • Maxine Graham, Vice President and Senior Counsel, American Express
  • Charles Hawkins, Assistant General Counsel, IP & Litigation, Volkswagen Group of America
  • Joshua Landau, Patent Counsel, Computer & Communications Industry Association
  • Karin Norton, Vice President and Senior Counsel, Samsung Electronics
  • John Whealan, Associate Dean for IP Law, George Washington University Law School

IAM’s Patent Litigation program promises to be an informative event for anyone interested in how the legal and political climates shape the patent market. For more information, visit their website.

Lottery Tickets: It’s On The House?

Property firm Savills recently estimated that the UK housing market is at its weakest point since the global financial crisis of 2007/2008 and it is perhaps unsurprising, therefore, that in recent years sellers have increasingly resorted to listing their property in a lottery or raffle.

However, running a property lottery whilst simultaneously staying compliant with all the relevant rules and regulations is no easy feat. There are many examples in the news of illegal property lotteries that have been abandoned prematurely.  Indeed, the volume of ticket payments processed from illegal property raffles via PayPal has led the company to ban the purchase of tickets for entry to house-prize draws in the UK through its service. As a brief aside, even in successfully organised property lotteries, there are potentially quite significant tax pitfalls to navigate. Accordingly, both homeowners and buyers should seek expert legal advice. Also, there is no guarantee that the lottery will cover the value of the house, as property developers discovered earlier this year.

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How Harmful do Gender Stereotypes Need to be? Ads Banned in UK Following New Rule

As we reported earlier this year, a new rule dealing with the depiction of harmful gender stereotypes, was introduced into the BCAP and CAP Codes as of June 2019.

The first decisions under the new rules have been released and we have seen two separate ads by Volkswagen and Philadelphia banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) under the new rule. Continue Reading