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The first week of June brought two votes on final rules from the FTC, including the Amplifier Rule and Racetrack Safety Rule. Further, the FTC finalized a proposed settlement and consumer redress regarding Lurn, Inc.’s deceptive advertisings. All this and more after the jump:Continue Reading FTC Updates (June 3-7, 2024)

As we move forward our clocks to adjust for daylight saving time and enter the season of spring, the FTC is keeping quite busy. The FTC held multiple events, proposed various settlement orders, and issued new rules covering a host of industries and topical areas, including healthcare, privacy, and telemarketing. Most importantly, the FTC welcomed Commissioners Ferguson and Holyoak.Continue Reading FTC Updates (February 26 – March 11, 2024)

As we enter 2024, the FTC is pushing forward on all fronts. The Bureau of Consumer Protection announced both settlements and actions, especially related to telemarketing and robocalls, as well as automotive industry junk fees and illegal uses of consumer location data. And, the FTC has scheduled a summit on Artificial Intelligence on January 25. This, and more, after the jump.Continue Reading FTC Updates (January 1 – January 19, 2024)

Since the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) published its updated 2023 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising earlier this year, consumer reviews have been front of mind. This guidance covers, in part, the treatment of consumer reviews, and companies have been (or should be) preparing for an uptick in FTC enforcement. But it’s not just the FTC to watch out for. A recent wave of class actions arising under California Civil Code § 1670.8 related to a customer’s right to make statements about their experience with a seller has raised the bar for retailers to another level.Continue Reading I Can’t Say What? New Wave of Class Actions Target Consumer Review Terms & Conditions

As we enter November and turn our clocks back, the FTC has not slowed its enforcement efforts. The Bureau of Consumer Protection announced multiple settlements resulting in millions in consumer refunds with an apparent focus on the credit, loan, and debt collection industries. Further, the FTC released multiple annual reports including its Do Not Call Registry Data Book. This and more, after the jump.Continue Reading FTC Updates (October 30 – November 3, 2023)

As the summer closes and fall arrives, the FTC has been busy resolving a variety of actions within both the Bureau of Consumer Protection and Bureau of Competition, related to either purported false advertising or anticompetitive mergers. This and more, after the jump.Continue Reading FTC Updates (August 28 – September 8, 2023)

Considering Use in Commerce, Source-Identifying-Function, and Conduct vs. Confusion

On June 29, 2023, the Supreme Court vacated the 10thCircuit’s decision in Abitron Austria GmbH et al. v. Hetronic International Inc(“Hetronic”). The Supreme Court principally held that the Lanham Act does not have extraterritorial application. As Crowell previously discussed, the Supreme Court sought briefing on Hetronic from the U.S. Solicitor General, signaling an interest in addressing the Tenth Circuit’s decision, the extraterritoriality of the Lanham Act, and the complex circuit split that has at least three distinct tests. Although the Court agreed 9-0 that the lower court’s decision should be vacated, Justice Alito’s majority opinion and Justice Sotomayor’s concurring opinion disagreed on the second step of the extraterritoriality test, specifically regarding whether foreign conduct can have domestic implications. The majority disagreed with both the Tenth Circuit and the Solicitor General, concluding that the Lanham Act cannot apply to foreign defendants’ foreign conduct.Continue Reading The Unanimous, but Contentiously Fractured, Supreme Court Decision on Extraterritoriality of the Lanham Act

The FTC has remained active this summer, concluding June with two major notices of proposed rulemaking. One related to the Premerger Notification Rule from the Bureau of Competition and the other related to the Use of Consumer Reviews and Testimonials from the Bureau of Consumer Protection. These stories and more regarding specific matter updates ranging from “Made in USA” advertising to deceptive Delta-8 THC advertising after the jump.Continue Reading FTC Updates (June 27 – July 7, 2023)

Advances in artificial intelligence have become front and center in the minds of many, including attorneys general focused on consumer protection. Although concerns exist for consumer protection, the advancement of artificial intelligence has the opportunity to add value to consumers.  This is especially true in healthcare. Recently, attorneys general gathered to discuss these issues at the Attorney General Alliance Annual Meeting, during a panel that discussed  The Value of Disruptive Healthcare. In the last few years, the growth of telemedicine has dramatically changed the delivery of healthcare. While these changes were already afoot, the pandemic highlighted the need for virtual access to healthcare and wellness tools. That disruption has added value in many ways to consumers and health care providers managing care for their patients. Similarly, in the coming years, we can expect artificial intelligence to drive even more changes in treatment, therapies, and standards of care in the healthcare sector. During these periods of major technological advancements attorneys general should consider consumers’ safety, privacy, security and consumers’ overall livelihood and health. Dramatic changes in healthcare business and technology are already challenging existing laws in unexpected ways, often creating gaps between the law and what consumers and producers need or want the law to say. This gap period, or regulatory lag, will require producers to assume some regulatory risk and for attorneys general to monitor business activities that they believe create too much risk for consumers.Continue Reading Attorneys General Consider Consumer Protection Issues Related to Artificial Intelligence in Consumer-Facing Healthcare Technology