Category Archives: California

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Court Rules That Dialing Equipment Must Have “Present Capacity” to Autodial to Come Within the Telephone Consumer Protection Act

On February 4, 2015, in Glauser v. GroupMe, Inc., No. 4:11-cv-02584, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California struck a blow to class action plaintiffs asserting claims under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), interpreting the TCPA’s definition of “automatic telephone dialing system” (“ATDS”) narrowly to mean equipment that has the “present … Continue Reading

When a Survey Isn’t Asking For Your Opinion: A Time-Sensitive Requirement for Those Doing Business in California

Companies doing business in California must now complete a comprehensive “survey” if selling particular products to consumers within the state.  However, this is not your typical consumer satisfaction survey, but rather a submission of detailed information for each product meeting the requirements discussed below.  The detailed submission must include include information on product formulas and unit … Continue Reading

California Enacts Law Protecting Minors’ Digital Privacy Rights

Kids say the darndest things, and California wants to make sure that when it comes to their online postings those kids get a do-over.  On January 2015, California law SB 568 entitled “Privacy Rights for California Minors in the Digital World” will go into effect, allowing minors to remove certain posted online content as well … Continue Reading

Duke U. Scores Win Against The Duke

We reported on July 16, 2014 that John Wayne Enterprises, LLC (“JWE”), the entity owning the rights to the name, image, and likeness of John Wayne, a.k.a. The Duke, had sued Duke University in California federal court to protect JWE’s right to market alcohol products with the mark “Duke” or “Duke John Wayne.”  Duke University … Continue Reading

Designer Duds? Class Action Alleges a “Made in USA” Fashion Faux Pas

Is the “surf up” again in California for “Made in USA” class actions?  A prior wave of “Made in USA” class action litigation in California crashed up against a number of legal difficulties, including how one calculated damages for buying a product “mislabeled” as “Made in USA.”  However, the California Supreme Court in the Kwikset … Continue Reading

Siri, Should Plaintiffs’ Case Be Dismissed? Yes.

In an important development for product demonstration claims, a federal court recently dismissed with prejudice a lawsuit claiming that Apple’s advertising overstated the voice recognition capability for Siri. When Apple first launched its iPhone 4S the company touted the inclusion of a voice-activated personal assistant, called “Siri.”  A number of commercials were aired in which … Continue Reading

California’s Do Not Track Disclosure Bill

As of January 1, 2014, California law requires operators of websites and online services to publicly disclose how they respond to “do not track” (dnt) signals, though the exact requirements vary depending on whether an entity is a first party (e.g., web publisher) or third party (e.g., ad network). The new law will not require … Continue Reading

Chipotle Case Gives Hope Against Class Actions

As we noted yesterday, it’s not necessarily a given that an allegedly misleading advertising claim leads inexorably to a viable class action lawsuit (most likely venued in California.).  Here’s one such recent example as to why. In the federal District Court in Los Angeles this past month, Chipotle Mexican Grill successfully defeated a class action … Continue Reading

Beyond Compare: Online Retailer Assessed Multi-Million Civil Penalty in California for Allegedly Deceptive Price Comparisons

A recent California state court held that Overstock.com, Inc. (“Overstock”) must pay the price for its allegedly deceptive pricing practices.  Seven district attorneys throughout California brought a complaint against Overstock in 2010, alleging five separate violations of state law.  The focus of these claims was that Overstock allegedly made false and misleading statements in reference … Continue Reading

“Made” Means “Made” Except When It Means Something Else

We ordinarily think advertising claims should be judged by how consumers perceive them and not what politicians think they should mean, but a recent bill passed in California threatens to do just that and sow even more confusion into the use of “Made in ____” claims. Manufacturing products in the United States is suddenly a … Continue Reading

California’s Green Chemistry Initiative Gets Focused, Issues Initial Candidate Chemical List

Word on the street is that a big law went into effect last Tuesday.  President Obama’s healthcare law, you say?  Okay, fine, that answer is technically correct, but it’s not the only landmark legislation that took effect.  Moreover, the law we’re referencing did not trigger a massive government shutdown (much to the chagrin of various … Continue Reading

Living Better through Chemistry: California’s Landmark Safer Consumer Products Regulations Get “Green” Light

Some would say that doing business in California can sometimes pose extra challenges.  Anyone who’s spent any time in the Golden State is, of course, familiar with omnipresent signs like the one above.  However, California has just taken a significant step forward in what could be described as an effort to reduce the presence of … Continue Reading

Is The Price (Maintenance) Right?

Fellow Blog Follower, c’mon down you’re the next contestant on “Is Resale Price Maintenance Still Right?” Two recent state court decisions provide conflicting answers. Almost five years have passed since the Supreme Court’s decision in Leegin, which overturned decades-old precedent and held that minimum resale price maintenance (RPM) agreements were not illegal per se under … Continue Reading

Califiornia Prohibits Proxy/Privately Registered Domains And Generic From Lines

The California appellate court’s decision in Balsam v. Trancos requires marketers nationwide using commercial email advertisements to include in the from line of each email either a domain name that is registered to the sender which can be determined by performing a WHOIS look-up, or the name of the sender or marketer on whose behalf … Continue Reading

British Religious Group Doesn’t Stand a Prayer Against the ASA

Healing on the Streets (HOTS) recently went up against the ASA, a British self-regulatory advertising watchdog and lost, in a case that demonstrates the difference having a First Amendment makes. HOTS promoted a leaflet on its website that said: “NEED HEALING? GOD CAN HEAL TODAY! Do you suffer from Back Pain, Arthritis, MS, Addiction … … Continue Reading
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