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Jewelry Company Sues Macy’s for Copyright Infringement

California-based jewelry company Brighton Collectibles LLC (“Brighton”) filed suit against Macy’s Inc. (“Macy’s”) for copyright infringement. According to the complaint, Brighton alleges that Macy’s infringed copyrighted designs for Brighton’s Reno heart bracelet and necklace products. Brighton alleges that Macy’s damaged its brand, reputation and goodwill by continuing to sell the alleged copies, despite receiving a … Continue Reading

SoulCycle Settles Gift Card Lawsuit For Up To $9.2 Million

Popular indoor cycling company SoulCycle Inc. recently settled a nationwide putative class action in an agreement valued between $6.9 million and $9.2 million. The suit alleged that SoulCycle defrauded customers by selling gift certificates with expiration dates (and keeping the expiring, unused balances), in violation of state and Federal law. According to the complaint, SoulCycle … Continue Reading

SCOTUS Grants Review of Federal Ban on Sports Gambling

In one of its final acts of the October 2016 term, the Supreme Court of the United States recently agreed to hear a New Jersey challenge to the constitutionality of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (“PAPSA”), a federal statute banning states from authorizing and regulating gambling on sporting events.[1] As we reported earlier … Continue Reading

Texas Passes New Driverless Car Law: Drivers Not Required in Texas

Last month, Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill into law that expressly allows motor vehicles with “automated driving systems” to operate on Texas highways. While Texas had previously been silent on the issue of driverless cars, Texas Senate Bill 2205 authorizes these vehicles to operate on the roadways, provided that the operators (who may or … Continue Reading

You’re invited to an ANA and Reed Smith Webinar: “GDPR, ePrivacy and Advertisers: Sorting out the Confusion”

As we’re now less than a year away from the GDPR taking effect, there is a lot of confusion out there over myths versus reality. Reed Smith presenters will participate in a webinar hosted by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) that will explore the practical considerations and the new thinking that brands and their … Continue Reading

Bob Marley’s Estate Wins $2.4 Million in Trademark Lawsuit

A federal district court ruled last week that Fifty-Six Hope Road Music Ltd. and Hope Road Merchandising, LLC, companies controlled by family members of late musician Bob Marley (collectively the “Marley Companies”), will receive $2.4 million in damages for trademark infringement from Jammin Java Corp., a California-based coffee company founded by one of Marley’s sons. … Continue Reading

Advertiser Fined By FCC For Use Of Emergency Tones in Football Ads

The FCC entered into a settlement late last month with TEGNA, Inc. (“TEGNA”) for $55,000. The case erupted after TEGNA used Emergency Alert System (“EAS”) tones in its television ad promoting the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team.  The advertisement at issue opened with EAS tones along with sounds of gusting winds and thunder claps, and aired … Continue Reading

Consumer Protection Class Action Lawsuit Over “Free” Candy Crush Plays Will Proceed

A class action lawsuit against the developer of Candy Crush will continue in Illinois federal court. According to the complaint, Candy Crush, a popular mobile game, entices users into sharing the game with Facebook friends in exchange for free “lives” (or plays) only to have those lives promptly deleted.  The plaintiffs allege that the lives … Continue Reading

Color Run Sues Competitive Race for Trademark Infringement

Running-event company The Color Run, LLC filed suit last week against rival company My School Color Run, LLC for willful trademark infringement, unfair competition, and false designation of origin. Color Run asserts that My School Color Run’s similar name, branding, events, and apparel violate both federal and state law. According to the complaint, My School … Continue Reading

[Happy] Anniversary

A year ago today (June 7, 2016), K2 Intelligence released an Association of National Advertisers’ commissioned study entitled, An Independent Study of Media Transparency in the U.S. Advertising Industry.  The painstakingly-researched and detailed report identified numerous non-transparent business practices that were alleged to be pervasive in the U.S. media ad buying ecosystem. Reminiscent of the … Continue Reading

San Francisco’s Mass Transit Agency Accused of Illegally Collecting and Transmitting Smart Phone Data Through Security App

San Francisco’s public transportation agency and the creator of the agency’s suspicious activity reporting smart phone application have been accused of illegally collecting, tracking, and storing users’ personal information and location data without their consent, in violation of California statutory and constitutional protections. A putative class action complaint, which was filed this week in a … Continue Reading

Digital media are now caught by French regulation and in particular by stringent transparency requirements

By virtue of the French “Sapin” law of January 29, 1993, France has become one of the most transparency-regulated media markets in the world, and remains so today. With the new Decree No 2017-159 of February 9, 2017, the protection of advertisers is further strengthened by extending the transparency requirements of the Sapin law to … Continue Reading

Irish Butter Shortage Spreads Trademark Battle in Wisconsin

A Wisconsin federal judge issued a temporary restraining order last month against a Wisconsin creamery for their use of the “Irishgold” Irish butter trademark and associated packaging. Irish dairy distributor Ornua Foods North America Inc. filed suit for willful trademark infringement against Old World Creamery LLC and Eurogold USA LLC, asserting that Old World’s butter … Continue Reading

Popcorn Makers Fight Over Use of “Skinny”

Last month, snack food company Snyder’s-Lance filed a declaratory judgment action in North Carolina against Amplify Snack Brands and its SkinnyPop popcorn. Hours later, Amplify brought suit against Snyders-Lance in Texas, alleging trademark infringement over Snyders’ “Metcalf’s Skinny” popcorn and other snacks sold under the “Metcalf’s Skinny” brand name.  At issue is whether the term … Continue Reading

Another Wake Up Call for Transparency

On May 18, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) released a critical study under a joint initiative led by Ad/Fin in cooperation with the ANA, the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA), and Ebiquity.  The study investigated the transparency and economics of programmatic media; particularly what percentage of an advertiser’s programmatic media spend actually went to … Continue Reading

For Media Transparency, The Stars Are Starting to Align in the United Kingdom

UK-based media agency, the7stars, recently announced it would adopt the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers’ (ISBA) template agency agreement—an arrangement designed to foster a transparent relationship between advertisers and media buying agencies. Since K2 Intelligence released its report on the U.S. media buying industry in June—a report which detailed non-transparent business practices employed by media … Continue Reading

Squeezing the Supply Chain: Premium Publishers Align with Advertisers in Fight to Clean Up Murky Digital Media Ecosystem

Advertisers aren’t alone in their quest to clean up the digital media ecosystem—this, according to an open letter penned by Digital Content Next (DCN) CEO Jason Kint. Kint’s letter was in response to P&G Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard’s IAB speech last month, where Pritchard drew a line in the sand regarding the quality and … Continue Reading

Contractual Audit Rights: How to Overcome Real-Life Challenges Webinar

Douglas Wood, Partner at Reed Smith LLP, will be presenting a webinar on Contractual Audit Rights: How to Overcome Real-Life Challenges. Clear Law Institute will host the webinar, which you can attend live on February 27 at 1 p.m. ET or view a recording anytime after the event.     You can receive a 35% discount off … Continue Reading

“You’re Fired” – The Growing Fallout from Celebrity Rants

While the beginning of the Trump era started with debates over the size of crowds and immigration bans, last week was all about brands and their affiliation (or desire to be unaffiliated) with President Trump. Most recently, this issue came to the forefront when Under Armour’s CEO gave an interview on CNBC and called Trump … Continue Reading

What’s In A Name? Unwanted Kardashian Affiliation Dooms High-End Cosmetic Product

The Eleventh Circuit recently denied the Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney Kardashian’s (the “Kardashians”) motion to compel arbitration related to a trademark infringement lawsuit filed by upscale cosmetics company, By Lee Tillett (“Tillett”). The parties are now set to litigate the matter in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.  Tillet produces … Continue Reading

Subway Turns Back Class Action Over Free Sandwich Text Message Promotion

Subway scored a recent victory when a federal court dismissed a putative class action brought by two customers over a free sandwich promotion alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) after allegedly receiving a text message offering a free 6” Oven Roasted Chicken sub. Subway moved to compel arbitration, seeking to enforce the … Continue Reading
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