This past summer, Lacoste launched a mobile app, Lacoste City Tennis, that is part matchmaker and part personal assistant. Users can find a hitting partner and an open court to play on. As Lacoste looks to the future, this strategic initiative reinforces the high-end lifestyle company's DNA as an iconic tennis brand.
A flurry of recent class action lawsuits is forcing clothing retailers to rethink their marketing tactics for outlet stores. In the last few months, lawsuits have been filed against a who’s who of major clothing retailers — The Gap, Banana Republic, Saks Fifth Avenue, Michael Kors, and Neiman Marcus — stemming from allegations that the companies are misleading consumers about the quality of merchandise sold in outlets.
What’s the News?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently settled with L’Oréal USA Inc. over charges that the company made deceptive claims regarding the benefits of two of its products. Specifically, L’Oréal claimed that its Génifique and Youth Code facial skincare products could combat the effects of aging by affecting the genes of anyone who used it. However, according to the FTC, such claims lacked adequate substantiation. Given the FTC’s allegations, L’Oréal has elected to settle the dispute and has agreed to a proposed consent order.
What’s the News?
A recent case filed in US District Court for the Southern District of Florida charges A&E Television Networks, LLC (A&E), with willful trademark infringement and unfair competition stemming from merchandise for the hit reality show Duck Dynasty. The case is a cautionary (duck?) tale about the importance of clearing trademarks prior to use and a reminder about the steps companies can take to minimize their liability under intellectual property laws.
Two major department stores — Macy’s and Barneys — recently settled racial profiling investigations lodged against them by the New York State Attorney General. The investigations stemmed from complaints the Attorney General received from minority customers who were allegedly racially profiled in the department stores.
Barneys and the New York City Police Department were named in a lawsuit by a Queens man detained by police in April 2013 for two hours after buying a $349 Ferragamo belt, and then released without being charged. Another Barney’s shopper said she was surrounded by four undercover police officers in February 2013 after leaving with a $2,500 Celine handbag she had purchased.
According to the American Apparel & Footwear Association, 97.5 percent of apparel sold in the United States is made internationally, making it important for fashion brands to implement strategic decisions about how they handle US customs duties.
On August 11, 2014, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) signed “ban the box” legislation, making New Jersey the 13th state to adopt such a law. The law bars any employer with more than 15 employees over 20 calendar weeks from making initial hiring decisions based on an applicant’s criminal record. The law becomes effective March 1, 2015 and provides for civil penalties of $1,000 for the first violation, $5,000 for the second violation, and $10,000 for each subsequent violation.
What’s Making News?
After a spate of high-profile data security breaches, many legislators, businesses, and consumers are asking what can be done to prevent such security lapses and who should be held responsible. The increased attention to data security has led to a flurry of recent activity in state legislatures and in Washington.
One of the world’s most consumer protective spam laws recently went into effect in Canada on July 1, 2014, and many companies operating outside of Canada are learning that the law also impacts them because of how broadly it is drafted.
What Made News?
A group of merchants and restaurants, including Netflix Inc., California Pizza Kitchen Inc., and Ralph Lauren Corp., are fighting back in federal court against a Delaware lawsuit alleging that they have been withholding unclaimed gift card balances that are due to the state.
Background on the Case
Delaware law expressly includes gift cards in its abandoned property law. Under Delaware law, if a gift card has been abandoned or unclaimed for a period of five years, then the remaining balance must be turned over to the state if certain criteria are met. The unclaimed property must be turned over to Delaware if the unclaimed property is located in the state, if the owner who abandoned the property has a last known address in Delaware, or if the owner’s identity and last known address are unknown but the property is held by a business incorporated in Delaware.
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