Interactive Counsel

Arent Fox's interactive media law blog - latest news and trends in advertising, data security & privacy, and IP.

Interactive Counsel
Product Placement & Distribution, Payment Processing, Electronic Fund Transfers & Mobile Payments, Song-Beverly Act
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Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Suit Against Redbox for ZIP Code Collection Practices

What Made News?

The Ninth Circuit has affirmed the dismissal of a putative class action against Redbox, holding that its ZIP code collection practices fall within an exception to California’s Song-Beverly Credit Card Act of 1971 (Song-Beverly Act).

Details of the Case

Under the Song-Beverly Act, retailers are prohibited from collecting personal identification information in connection with a credit card purchase. Following a California Supreme Court decision, ZIP codes fall within the definition of “personal identification information.” There is, however, an exception to the Song-Beverly Act that allows for the collection of such information where the “credit card is being used as a deposit to secure payment in the event of default, loss, damage, or other similar occurrence.” Redbox was able to rely on this exception.

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Advertising
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Fight On, Fight On? USPTO Cancels Six WASHINGTON REDSKINS Trademarks

Yesterday, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) cancelled six registrations related to the Washington Redskins professional football team. The TTAB found the marks violated Section 2(a) of the Federal Lanham Act, which bars registration of trademarks that may disparage persons or bring them into contempt or disrepute.

While this is a setback for Pro Football, Inc., the owner of the WASHINGTON REDSKINS trademarks, it is certainly not the end of the story. The team has already announced that it will appeal the decision to federal court. Furthermore, the TTAB decision only covers the right to register the trademarks. It does not impact the team’s right to use the trademarks, nor does it impact the team’s common law trademark rights, which are based on use of the marks in commerce.

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Advertising
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‘To Pomegranate or Not to Pomegranate…’

In an 8-0 decision, the US Supreme Court ruled last week that a private party may bring a Lanham Act claim challenging a food label regulated by the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). The case originated when POM Wonderful LLC (POM), the makers of POM pomegranate juice drink, sued Coca-Cola Company in 2008, alleging that Coca-Cola had misleadingly labeled as “pomegranate-blueberry blended juice” a product that is more than 99 percent apple and grape juice, violating the Lanham Act. Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the Court, ruled that FDCA regulation did not preclude a Lanham Act claim and that Congress’ intention was for both statutes to co-exist: “Congress did not intend the FDCA to preclude Lanham Act suits like POM’s.” Slip. Op. 17

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Advertising, Product Placement & Distribution
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Being Labeled: FTC Amends Wool Products Labeling Rules

What Made News?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has recently approved changes to its Wool Products Labeling Rules (Wool Rules) in order to allow wool manufacturers and sellers greater flexibility and bring the Wool Rules into line with the Wool Suit Fabric Labeling Fairness and International Standards Conforming Act, as well as the FTC’s textile labeling regulations.

What Are the Major Changes?

The most significant change to the Wool Rules concerns hang-tag labels. The FTC will now allow certain hang-tags that disclose fiber trademarks and performance, but do not provide the product’s full fiber content. This amendment may allow companies the flexibility to highlight certain fibers in their products without having to provide the product’s full details on hang-tags. Hang-tags must, however, clearly disclose that they do not provide the product’s full fiber content should the product contain other fibers.

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Advertising, Payment Processing, Electronic Fund Transfers & Mobile Payments
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Major Retailers Sued for Point of Sale Devices Inaccessible to the Blind

What Made News?

Major retailers from Apple to Lucky Brand to J. Crew are being sued for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to provide point of sale (POS) devices that are accessible to the blind.

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Advertising, Privacy & Security
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Victory for FTC in Dispute Over Its Data Security Authority

What Made News?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently won a significant victory in federal court in its ongoing efforts to hold businesses accountable for their data security practices. The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey rejected a challenge to the FTC’s authority over data security, allowing the FTC to continue with its action in court against the Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (Wyndham) for its data security failures.

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Advertising, Privacy & Security
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Judge Orders FTC to Disclose Data Security Standards

What Made News?

The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) chief administrative law judge ruled recently that the agency must disclose the internal standards it uses to determine whether a company maintains adequate data security. The ruling is part of ongoing litigation between the FTC and a company called LabMD, which, according to the FTC, failed to maintain proper security for consumer data. The ruling could make it easier for companies that collect and manage consumer data to audit their data security practices and ensure compliance with FTC standards.

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Payment Processing, Electronic Fund Transfers & Mobile Payments, Prepaid & Stored Value Cards, Privacy & Security
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Urban Outfitters Faces Another Lawsuit for Collecting Customer ZIP Codes

What Made News?

Urban Outfitters is facing yet another putative class action lawsuit over its practice of collecting customers’ ZIP codes in connection with credit card purchases at its retail locations. Last June, Urban Outfitters faced a similar suit regarding this practice in its Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie stores. This time, Free People, an Urban Outfitters subsidiary, is the subject of the suit.

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Advertising, E-Commerce, Mobile Marketing
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Poor Mobile App Security Draws FTC’s Attention

What Made News?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently charged two companies — Fandango, LLC, and Credit Karma, Inc. — with violating the FTC Act by misrepresenting the security of their mobile apps and failing to securely transmit sensitive personal information over the Internet. In order to settle the charges, the companies have agreed to establish comprehensive security programs designed to address security risks during the development of their apps and to undergo independent security assessments every other year for the next 20 years.

What Do These Companies Do?

Both Fandango and Credit Karma operate mobile apps — Fandango has an app for the iOS operating system that allows consumers to purchase movie tickets and view information such as show times, trailers, and reviews; Credit Karma has an app for iOS and Android that allows consumers to monitor and evaluate their financial status.

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Advertising, Promotions, Sweepstakes & Contests
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ADT Home Security Settles Charges Over Deceptive Advertising

What Made News?

The FTC is cracking down on misleading endorsements in advertising, and the home security company ADT has the lumps to prove it. Earlier this month, ADT settled FTC charges that it had deceived consumers by failing to disclose that “independent” security experts were in fact paid ADT spokespeople.

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Arent Fox LLP, founded in 1942, is internationally recognized in core practice areas where business and government intersect. With more than 350 lawyers, the firm provides strategic legal counsel and multidisciplinary solutions to clients that range from Fortune 500 corporations to trade associations. The firm has offices in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.