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Online Mandatory Arbitration Provision Stops Class Action from Moving Forward

In another victory for retail and fashion clients, a federal court recently held that an online arbitration provision for a web-based application was enforceable, reversing a lower court decision and essentially blocking a proposed class action.

It’s Every Influencer for Themselves as FTC Settles Debut Case Against Individual Social Stars

Calling all #influencers: that promotional post may attract more attention than you bargained for with your brand if you fail to use required disclosures. With several enforcement actions against companies, assistance from Instagram’s new paid partnerships tool, and the first ever complaint directly against social media influencers, the Federal Trade Commission has made it clear that they are fed up with deceptive endorsements.

What Trump's Tax Reform Might Mean for Fashion and Luxury Goods Companies

With tax reform front and center on the political agenda, retailers should be paying close attention to changes that could have an important impact on the fashion industry.   Last week, President Trump launched a public push for comprehensive tax reform, promising an improved competitive tax position for US companies relative to other countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.  

Licensing Relationship Goes Cold in Ice Cream Trademark Dispute

Ice cream truck franchising company, Mister Softee Inc., recently filed suit against a former franchisee claiming trademark infringement and unfair competition. The company claimed that although Mister Softee ended its franchising and license agreements with the licensee, he continued to operate his New Jersey ice cream businesses using the Mister Softee trademarks, as well as an iconic jingle.

Online Retailer and Executive Plead Guilty to Price-Fixing Conspiracy Conducted Via Social Media and Text Messaging

An online retailer and its president recently pled guilty to a price-fixing conspiracy for customized promotional products that was implemented through text messaging and social media platforms. The successful prosecutions are the latest in the Department of Justice’s ongoing antitrust investigation into the online promotional products industry.  

Instagram Signals to #Influencers That There’s a #NewSheriff in Town

TLDR Instagram has a message for social media Influencers: the Wild West is coming to an end. The popular photo-sharing platform is rolling out a new tool that will make it easier to tag and track paid commercial content. The tool offers a potential replacement for the much loathed “#ad” disclosure, but it also signals a coming crackdown on Influencer posts.

Anonymous Online Business Reviews: Balancing Free Speech Rights Against Protections From Defamation

As nearly every company’s products and services can be critiqued on several online platforms, courts must balance a speaker’s First Amendment right to express opinions anonymously online against a business’s right protect itself from defamatory speech. On one hand, anonymous online speech is typically thought to be protected by the First Amendment, and websites posting anonymous reviews often fiercely defend their reviewers’ anonymity and their speech as non-actionable opinion. Early this year, Congress even passed the Consumer Review Fairness Act, which stops a company from using a contrac

Facts Matter in Non-Compete Agreements – Even as to Choice of Law and Venue

In a decision with important consequences for employers with national non-compete programs, a Massachusetts Superior Court Judge recently invalidated the Massachusetts choice-of-law and forum-selection provisions of a non-compete agreement between a Massachusetts company and its former, California employee. See Oxford Global Resources, LLC v. Hernandez, No. 1684CV03911-BLS2 (Mass. Super. Ct. June 9, 2017). The court determined that the agreement was adhesory and designed to circumvent California public policy.

Save Me! San Francisco Enacts Salary History Law

Following the lead of other states and cities, on July 19, 2017, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee signed the “Parity in Pay Ordinance” into law. The Ordinance, which takes effect on July 1, 2018, prohibits San Francisco employers from asking job applicants about their salary history or from considering earnings information in determining whether to hire an applicant and what salary to offer them.

Federal Court Holds Employer’s Attorney Can Be Sued For FLSA Retaliation Over Deportation Effort

In addition to requiring payment of minimum wage and overtime, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act protects employees from retaliation for making a complaint, testifying, or instituting a proceeding “under or related to” the FLSA. A new decision from the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals underscores the scope of this protection.