Commercial Transactions: Updates

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  • Updated: FDA Clarifies When Tobacco Products are Regulated as Medical Products Published on March 20, 2017 Legal update: archive

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a final rule describing when a product made or derived from tobacco that is intended for human consumption is subject to regulation as a drug, device, or a combination product under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA).

  • Review Your Review Policy: the Consumer Review Fairness Act Published on March 07, 2017 Legal update: archive

    The Consumer Review Fairness Act (CRFA) of 2016 protects consumers who write reviews of products, services, and business conduct in any media, including traditional, digital, and social media. The law prohibits businesses from using standardized contract clauses to deter customers from posting negative reviews and voids certain clauses in form contracts, including non-disparagement clauses. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued guidance for business to help businesses comply with the new law.

  • FTC Pursues False Advertising Claims Related to Privacy Certifications Published on February 24, 2017 Legal update: archive

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has settled charges with three companies that violated the Federal Trade Commission Act by deceiving consumers about their privacy standards. The companies falsely claimed that they participate in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) system.

  • DOJ Issues New Guidance on Corporate Compliance Programs Published on February 22, 2017 Legal update: archive

    The Department of Justice (DOJ) has released new guidance, entitled Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs. This guidance covers important topics and provides sample questions that the DOJ's Fraud Section considers when it evaluates the effectiveness of a corporate compliance program.

  • Creating a Program for Risk-Based Due Diligence of Third Parties in Commercial Contracts Published on February 10, 2017 Legal update: archive

    This Legal Update highlights resources that in-house counsel can use to develop and implement a program to conduct risk-based due diligence of third parties in commercial contracts.

  • Surviving the Statutes of Limitation: The Relationship Between Survival and Statute of Limitation Provisions Published on February 07, 2017 Legal update: archive

    Parties often include survival provisions in their commercial contracts to address which contract provisions remain in force after the contract's term. Among other things, a survival provision can define the time limits for discovering or bringing a legal action after the contract has expired or terminated. This legal update discusses the relationship between survival provisions and contractual statutes of limitations for bringing legal actions related to the contract and outlines how some states differ in interpreting and enforcing these provisions.

  • OFAC Updates List of Medical Devices Requiring Specific Authorization for Export to Iran Published on February 03, 2017 Legal update: archive

    The Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has released an updated list of medical devices that require specific authorization for export or reexport to Iran under the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations.

  • TCPA Plaintiff Alleged Concrete Injury Under Spokeo, but Did Not Adequately Revoke Prior Consent to Text Communications Under TCPA: Ninth Circuit Published on January 31, 2017 Legal update: archive

    In Van Patten v. Vertical Fitness Group, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that a TCPA plaintiff alleged a concrete and particularized injury sufficient to confer standing under Spokeo v. Robins. Additionally, the Ninth Circuit held that, under the TCPA, a plaintiff may revoke consent to receive telephone or text communications by clearly expressing the plaintiff's desire to not be called or texted.

  • Updated: US Withdraws from Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement Published on January 25, 2017 Legal update: archive

    President Obama has announced that the US has finished negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal with 11 other nations and that the White House will now work with Congress to secure its passage into law. This resource has been updated to reflect President Trump's withdrawal of the US from the TPP.

  • FTC Releases Staff Report on Cross-Device Tracking Published on January 24, 2017 Legal update: archive

    The FTC released a new report on cross-device tracking with recommendations, including increasing transparency and consumer choice.

  • OFAC Amends Sudanese Sanctions Regulations Published on January 17, 2017 Legal update: archive

    The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has published a final rule to amend the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations and authorize all prohibited transactions, including transactions involving property in which the Government of Sudan has an interest.

  • FDA Issues Guidance for Control of Listeria in Ready-to-Eat Foods Published on January 17, 2017 Legal update: archive

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released revised draft guidance for preventing contamination of ready-to-eat (RTE) foods with the Listeria bacteria. The guidance is intended to help companies comply with the FDA's Current Good Manufacturing Practice in Manufacturing, Packing, or Holding Human Food regulations (CGMPs).

  • Updated: The Rise in Class Actions Under NJ Consumer Protection Law Published on January 12, 2017 Legal update: archive

    New Jersey's Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act (TCCWNA) has inspired a rise in new class action lawsuits against companies that sell products or services to consumers in New Jersey. The TCCWNA places multiple restrictions on the types of written contractual terms that a company can include when dealing with consumers who live in New Jersey.

  • FTC Mails Redress Checks to Nearly 350,000 Victims of Multi-Level Marketing Scheme Published on January 12, 2017 Legal update: archive

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that it is mailing checks to nearly 350,000 people who lost money as part of Herbalife International of America, Inc., Herbalife International, Inc., and Herbalife, Ltd.'s multi-level marketing (MLM) business. These companies reached a settlement with the FTC last year, agreeing to pay the agency $200 million and fundamentally restructure their MLM business. This is one of the largest redress distributions the FTC has ever made in any consumer protection action.

  • Staking a Claim: The Basics of FTC Claim Substantiation Published on January 10, 2017 Legal update: archive

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires advertisers to provide a reasonable basis for advertising and marketing claims. The process of demonstrating that reasonable basis is called claim substantiation, and it is important for companies marketing and selling consumer products in the US to understand the process of claim substantiation, including how to test claims and use disclosures to qualify claims. This update also discusses substantiation of health claims, comparative advertisements, environmental marketing claims, and US origin (Made in USA) claims.

  • Odebrecht S.A. and Braskem S.A. Agree to Record Global Foreign Bribery Resolution Published on January 10, 2017 Legal update: archive

    The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently announced that Odebrecht S.A. and its affiliate petrochemical unit, Braskem S.A., have agreed to pay at least $3.5 billion to resolve claims that the companies violated various countries' anti-bribery and corruption laws, including the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The resolution includes payments to the US, Switzerland, and Brazil and is the largest-ever global foreign bribery resolution.

  • Updated: US Eases Sanctions Against Iran Published on December 22, 2016 Legal update: archive

    As part of a multilateral Joint Plan of Action to halt Iran's nuclear program, the US government is temporarily suspending sanctions on a limited number of commercial activities and associated services related to Iran.

  • DeVry University Reaches $100 Million Settlement with FTC Published on December 16, 2016 Legal update: archive

    DeVry University has reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and agreed to pay $100 million to resolve claims that the university misled prospective students and violated the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act).

  • Obama Signs 21st Century Cures Act into Law Published on December 16, 2016 Legal update: archive

    President Obama recently signed the 21st Century Cures Act into law. Among other things, this new law removes certain health-related and mobile medical apps from the definition of medical device under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

  • Updated: Congress Passes Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016 Published on December 16, 2016 Legal update: archive

    Congress recently passed the Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016 to protect against aggressive tactics used by businesses to deter negative online reviews. President Obama signed this legislation on December 14, 2016.

  • AshleyMadison.com Owners Agree to Pay $1.6 Million to Settle FTC and State Data Breach Charges Published on December 15, 2016 Legal update: archive

    The operators of the AshleyMadison.com dating site have agreed to settle FTC and state charges that they misled consumers and failed to protect their personal information after a 2015 data breach. Among other obligations, the terms of the settlement require the company to implement a comprehensive data security program and pay $1.6 million.

  • Updated: FDA Issues Guidance for Third-Party Certification Under FSMA Published on December 14, 2016 Legal update: archive

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued guidance for third-party certification of food safety audits under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The final guidance contains standards for accreditation of third-party certification bodies as required under the final rule, Accreditation of Third-Party Certification Bodies to Conduct Food Safety Audits and to Issue Certifications.

  • Important Issues in Distribution Agreements Published on December 14, 2016 Legal update: archive

    Whether in-house or outside counsel, commercial attorneys often deal with the what, when, and how that accompany drafting and negotiating distribution agreements for the resale of goods. This article looks at some important issues counsel should address when drafting and negotiating an exclusive or non-exclusive distribution agreement, including minimum purchase requirements, purchase order requirements, product warranties, and termination rights.

  • FDA Issues Guidance on Drug Supply Chain Security Act Published on December 13, 2016 Legal update: archive

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released guidance entitled Drug Supply Chain Security Act Implementation: Identification of Suspect Product and Notification. The guidance is intended to help trading partners identify suspect products and prevent or remove them from the pharmaceutical distribution supply chain.

  • Updated: FTC Amends Fuel Rating Rule Published on November 30, 2016 Legal update: archive

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced final amendments to its Fuel Rating Rule, which determines the fuel rating that appears on fuel pump labels, how octane levels are calculated, and helps drivers make informed decisions about what fuel to use.

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