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“Made in the USA” labeling: A trap for the unwary – Part one

A slew of recent class actions brought in California are claiming that retailers and product designers acted deceptively by marketing their products as “Made in the USA.” But, as discussed in this podcast, the issue is far from black and white. For instance, can a pair of jeans assembled in the USA from domestically produced denim be labeled “Made in the USA” if the zipper on those jeans was imported from a foreign country? According to the FTC, the answer is yes, but California law says no. Find out how this strict California law is wrecking havoc on the apparel …

Hospital pays six figures to settle data breach enforcement suit

At the end of last month, Boston hospital Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) settled a data breach lawsuit brought by the Massachusetts Attorney General related to the 2012 theft of a physician’s laptop. Under a consent decree entered on Nov. 20, 2014, BIDMC agreed to pay $100,000 and to take a number of steps to ensure future compliance with state and federal data security laws.

The state of Massachusetts filed the enforcement suit against BIDMC on the same day as the consent decree’s entry, alleging that an unauthorized person gained access to a BIDMC physician’s unlocked office on campus …

A compliance problem truly “Made in the USA”

Following the expiration of a public comment period last week, the ink is now dry on the Federal Trade Commission’s consent decree against Made in USA Brand, LLC, settling charges that the Columbus, Ohio-based company sold its “Made in USA” certification label to product-sellers without making any attempt to verify whether the companies’ products were actually made in the USA.

The FTC’s case against Made in USA Brand, LLC seems to present a pretty bright line for what not to do when labeling a product as “Made in USA.” According to the FTC, the company’s certification would have been just …

FTC’s focus on ‘patent trolls’ not limited to competition concerns

The FTC sent a message to “patent trolls” earlier this month, though how well that message will resonate remains to be seen. On Nov. 6, the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection concluded its investigation into MPHJ Technology Investments, LLC’s practices involving its so-called “inquiry letters” by agreeing to accept a consent order. The consent order addresses two sets of misrepresentations contained in various letters that MPHJ sent to alleged infringers of MPHJ patents. First, the FTC found that MPHJ misrepresented that they had sold a substantial number of licenses within a certain price range; second, they misrepresented that they intended …

How a smile might change the fortune of state licensing

One of the most important cases the U.S. Supreme Court will decide this year—at least with respect to antitrust law—involves the question of whether dentists in North Carolina can maintain a monopoly over teeth whitening services. While it hasn’t generated nearly the level of public attention as cases involving marriage equality or voting rights, North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission, argued before the Court last week, could have a significant impact on the ability of state agencies to regulate specific industries and professions, particularly healthcare.

Background
Created by state statute, the purpose of the North …

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