Crowell & Moring is partnering with the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) for an October 20 webinar covering the emerging legal landscape for the fashion industry in the digital media age. The webinar will run from 2:00 to 3:00 pm ET and will explore how to:

  • Best protect your intellectual property rights as fashion

Last week, the Department of Justice filed an action against Michaels Stores on behalf of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”).  According to the complaint, between 2006 and 2010 Michaels sold glass vases which were prone to shattering in consumers’ hands and caused multiple injuries.

The complaint alleges that (1) despite receiving injury reports

On August 19, 2014, the Department of Justice announced that Samsung Electronics had agreed to pay $2.3 million to settle a qui tam lawsuit alleging Samsung had caused its resellers to violate the Trade Agreements Act (TAA) by selling Samsung products manufactured in non-designated countries (primarily China) on their GSA Multiple Award Schedule contracts. This

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations formally commenced on July 8, 2013. A little over a year later, the negotiators have held six rounds of negotiations. The most recent round of negotiations was held during the week of July 14-18 in Brussels, and the seventh round is now expected for D.C. in late September.

During July’s discussions, the two sides covered the full range of “market access” issues, including trade in goods, trade in services, investment, and government procurement. Negotiations included greater regulatory cooperation, widely considered to be the greatest value of the TTIP talks, with modest progress made in regards to several product sectors, including textiles and apparel (where they focused on labeling and safety issues), chemicals (where they discuss broad opportunities for cooperation), and automobiles (where talks advanced in areas like equivalence of technical regulations). Food safety also continued to be an important issue during negotiations, particularly with the leak of the EU’s proposed chapter on Sanitary and Phytosantiary Measures (SPS) prior to the start of the latest round.


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On Wednesday, September 4, 2013 from 2:00-3:30 pm EST, a Crowell & Moring team of regulatory and public policy attorneys, along with a subject-matter expert from Exponent, will host a webinar examining the current status of TSCA modernization efforts and the potential impacts on manufacturers and importers.  The discussion will include an analysis of the

Politicians and public interest groups in the European Union are showing renewed interest in expanded country of origin labeling requirements in the wake of February’s horse meat scandal, where lasagna and other products sold in the EU purportedly made from beef were found instead to contain horse meat. Specifically, attention is focused on Regulation (EU)

On July 27, 2012, California released a revised draft of its Safer Consumer Products Regulations—commonly known as the "Green Chemistry Initiative." The proposed regulations establish a process for California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and product manufacturers to assess whether consumer products containing certain "chemicals of concern" can be made with safer ingredients. Once

It has been almost 30 years since a court has ruled on what constitutes a handbag for purposes of determining the correct import duty. Yet, everywhere you look, from the sidewalk to the subway, women’s handbags are clearly getting bigger. The bags’ intended purpose hasn’t changed, but styles have; bigger bags have become the norm.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Customs) imposes a four-percent higher duty on plastic handbags if they are classified as “travel bags” rather than “handbags” under the Harmonized Tariff Schedules (HTS). While Customs has established rules for determining whether an article is classified as a handbag or travel bag, Customs’ classification of these articles may not have not kept up with fashion. The result is that importers are forced to classify their ever-larger plastic handbags into the higher-duty travel bag tariff provisions. For years, importers have relied upon a size test for determining the tariff classification of handbags; e.g., bags that are smaller than 12” (W) x 9” (H) are handbags. This simple metric has always masked more than it has revealed and, as bags grow bigger, it has become increasingly meaningless. Size is becoming less and less indicative of the use for which a bag was intended.


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