Advertising and Marketing

FTC Issues New Guideline Report for Online and Mobile Advertising Disclaimers

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued new guidelines this week for media outlets, advertisers, brands, celebrity brand spokespeople and other parties advertising products online. The report, titled “.com Disclosures: How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising,” builds upon the FTC’s previous report on digital marketing practices, issued in 2000. In addition to emphatically clarifying that the FTC’s jurisdiction applies as much to the “wide spectrum of online activities” as it does to offline advertisements, the report provides useful guidance regarding the placement of effective limitations and qualifications on advertising claims and the “clear and conspicuous” standard that governs required disclosures. Continue reading

Facebook Introduces Graph Search, Privacy Challenges Possible

Facebook recently unveiled “Graph Search,” an innovation designed to help users find and connect their friends by their interests, shared history, and past activity on the social networking platform. The new feature, which will begin beta testing soon, greatly expands the search capabilities of the Facebook platform in a move some commentators speculate may help it compete with Google in the search business area. The Wall Street Journal has a rundown of Graph Search’s functionality here. Continue reading

Copyright Protection for Food – Perishable?

Kim Seng Co. v. J & A Importers, Inc., 810 F. Supp. 2d 1046 (C.D. Cal. 2011)

In Kim Seng Co. v. J & A Importers, Inc., a California District Court considered the copyrightability of a food display. Kim Seng Co., (“Kim Seng”), a Chinese-Vietnam food supply company sued another Chinese-Vietnam food supplier, J & A Importers, Inc. (“J & A Importers”), for using an image of a bowl of food on product packaging for rice sticks. Kim Seng alleged copyright and trade dress infringement for using its product packaging. And also interestingly, it sued J&A for copyright infringement of the food display itself. Continue reading

Buzz Aldrin Grounded

The Topps Company recently released a set of “American Heroes” trading cards which include well-known politicians, actors, athletes, scientists and events. Famed astronaut Buzz Aldrin attempted to block the release of certain cards believing the cards improperly incorporate his name, likeness and image in a commercial manner. The cards in question include the famous “Visor Shot” image of Aldrin on the outside of the cardboard box packaging, a mission card, and a “signature cut” card which contains original signatures taken from other documents. Continue reading

Good Day for Green Day: Judge Rules in Favor of Fair Use

In a lawsuit against the band Green Day, by Derek Seltzer (an L.A. Based Artist), the U.S. District Court Judge ruled in favor of Green Day in a motion for summary judgment on the basis of their fair use defense. Seltzer accused Green Day of violating his intellectual property rights through their unauthorized use of, and by altering, Seltzer’s notorious work, “Scream Icon”. Green Day’s use of the work appeared in a video backdrop during live performances of their song East Jesus Nowhere, throughout their 2009 tour. Continue reading