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Retailers and consumer products companies need to be aware of a new law affecting negative online reviews. On December 14, 2016, President Obama signed the Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016 (H.R. 5111) into law. The Act voids “non-disparagement clauses” in form contracts designed to prevent consumers from posting negative comments and online reviews of products and services. The Act also makes it unlawful for companies to include these clauses in their form contracts. The Federal Trade Commission will enforce the Act in the same way it enforces against unfair or deceptive trade practices under its jurisdiction; state attorneys general may also enforce the Act under certain conditions. For existing contracts, the Act will take effect in 90 days and FTC/state enforcement may commence one year from now.


Continue Reading Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016 — Beware of the Negative Online Review

The FTC continues its active presence in the environmental claims space with 20 warning letters targeting marketers of “dog waste bags” who make biodegradability and/or compostability claims for the bags and their, er, contents. The sweep contains no surprises in terms of FTC interpretation of environmental claims and is consistent with past FTC actions against

To tackle the challenges of launching products on the Internet of Things, the FTC recommends designing security into interconnected products from the outset as well as monitoring products post sale to quickly identify security risks. Most consumer product companies already have similar programs in place to ensure the safety of the products and meet CPSC

Crowell & Moring is pleased to announce two upcoming presentations regarding consumer protection regulation and enforcement and what President Obama’s second turn will mean for retailers (as well as manufacturers and distributors). With the re-election of President Obama, we can expect the government to continue to add to the existing federal regulations. The discussion panel, which includes former agency

Crowell & Moring is pleased to invite you to join us on October 19, 2011 for a dynamic conference entitled Product Risk Management: A Product Lifecycle Approach to Identifying, Mitigating and Managing Legal Risks. This one-day event will provide updates and guidance on the myriad legal issues related to product development, manufacturing and distribution and will be of particular value to In-house Counsel, Executive Officers and Compliance Officers.

Speakers scheduled to participate include representatives from the Federal Trade Commission, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Crowell & Moring, the American Cleaning Institute, and companies such as Avaya, Inc., Graco Children’s Products, Inc., Dell, FMC Corporation, Oneida and Tesla Motors.


Continue Reading Join Us at Our Product Risk Management Conference in DC

As of March 11, 2011, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) will begin publishing “reports of harm” it receives on consumer products under its jurisdiction. Obviously, this will have wide-ranging impact on manufacturers and private labelers of consumer products. Now is the time to get procedures in place to handle the new database. We’ll be tracking developments on the CPSC’s implementation of its publicly available database.
Continue Reading CPSC Issues Draft Final Rule Establishing a Publicly-Available Product Safety Information Database