Healthy Choices: The Power and Perils of Health and Wellness Claims in Advertising

Share

Even before COVID-19 had turned each of us into an amateur epidemiologist, companies in nearly every industry had begun to recognize the magnetic appeal of health and wellness claims in consumer advertising.  Marketers of everything from cleaning products to apparel to furniture to homes were suddenly making claims touting the health and wellness benefits of their products. It wasn’t just better, it was better for you and your family.  It will surprise no one to learn that the pandemic year of 2020 only intensified this trend, as consumers focused as never before on the ways that their purchases might not only help them live better lives, but perhaps even keep them alive.

Predictably, competitors, regulators and the plaintiff’s bar have all taken notice of this trend, and moved aggressively in response.  In 2020, for example, the BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division (NAD), the nation’s premier forum for competitor initiated advertising challenges, recorded an extraordinary 50% uptick in challenges to health-related advertising.  Similarly, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and state regulators across the country have focused intense scrutiny on companies claiming to offer health benefits to consumers often desperate for help.  It is natural to predict that class actions and Lanham Act activity will soon reflect these trends as well.

Continue reading

Celebrating One Year of TCAM Today!

Share

In February 2020, Faegre Baker Daniels and Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP combined to form one of the nation’s 50 largest law firms.  Soon after the combination, Faegre Drinker shifted to a virtual work environment to protect our clients, colleagues and loved ones during the global COVID-19 pandemic.  We nevertheless remained committed to the success of our clients in a challenging year, and focused on serving clients with our new firm’s combined capabilities.

This month marks not only the first year of Faegre Drinker, but also the inaugural year of TCAM Today – Faegre Drinker’s blog covering all things trademark, copyright, advertising and media.  In 2020, Faegre Drinker’s team of more than 30 T-CAM professionals shared their insight on topics ranging from social media influencers to trademark trolls.

Continue reading

Protect Your Brand: U.S. Customs and Border Protection as Part of Your IP Enforcement Team

Share

Intellectual property rights holders are constantly seeking creative ways to protect their brands, including preventing counterfeit products from entering the marketplace.  There are the traditional methods – such as federal trademark registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office – that are well-known to most companies.  However, many companies are less familiar with the high-value, low-cost enforcement tools available through a Customs Recordation filing with United States Customs and Border Protection.

United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) can be a vital partner in your company’s efforts to enforce its trademarks and copyrights, and to stop counterfeit imports.  Intellectual property enforcement is currently a “Priority Trade Issue” for CBP, and the increased focus on such enforcement is highly beneficial to companies who can then leverage CBP’s database and workforce to identify and stop counterfeit product imports.  CBP uses the information contained in its database of recorded trademarks and copyrights in order to target and seize imports of counterfeit and pirated goods at various U.S. ports of entry.  In FY 2019, CBP seized more than 27,000 shipments containing counterfeit goods, enforcing over 18,500 active recordations1.  Notably, CBP rarely takes action to detain or seize goods displaying trademarks or copyrights that are not recorded; therefore, it is critical to include CBP recordation as part of your enforcement strategy.

Continue reading