1. Feds crack down on dangerous toys

Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice filed suit in federal court against four California companies and six individuals for importing products that violate the Federal Hazardous Substances Act and the Consumer Product Safety Act.  The individuals and companies — Toy Distribution, Inc., S&J Merchandise, Inc., BLJ Apparel, Inc. and All Season Sales, Inc. — are accused of importing children’s products, such as dolls, toy musical instruments and toy cars, with high levels of lead, banned plasticizers known as phthalates, and small parts.

Toy Companies Sued for Importing Defective Products

    Feds crack down on dangerous toys

    Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice filed suit in federal court against four California companies and six individuals for importing products that violate the Federal Hazardous Substances Act and the Consumer Product Safety Act.  The individuals and companies — Toy Distribution, Inc., S&J Merchandise, Inc., BLJ Apparel, Inc. and All Season Sales, Inc. — are accused of importing children’s products, such as dolls, toy musical instruments and toy cars, with high levels of lead, banned plasticizers known as phthalates, and small parts.

    Toy Companies Sued for Importing Defective Products

  2. 7 March 2014

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    Reblogged from
    jdsupra

    Today’s Strange But True Law News: the Patent Edition

    jdsupra:

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    On this day in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell was granted patent 174,465 by the U.S. Patent Office, covering “the method of, and apparatus for, transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically … by causing electrical undulations, similar in form to the vibrations of the air accompanying the…

  3. Failure to comply with the various state and federal laws protecting student privacy can have serious consequences for educational institutions.

    — Attorneys Maximillian Bodoin, Brian Doyle, and Paul Lannon of Holland & Knight on recent Dept of Education guidance regarding student privacy online

  4. What, exactly, makes a startup team great?
Integrity
Confidence & Iniatitive
Intellectual Curiosity
Winners
Business Leadership
..and more.
We asked the experts who advise startups which attributes they’d seen over the years in successful businesses. The answers are here:
How and Why Your Team Is Everything…
—
[image credit: Women 2.0]

    What, exactly, makes a startup team great?

    1. Integrity
    2. Confidence & Iniatitive
    3. Intellectual Curiosity
    4. Winners
    5. Business Leadership

    ..and more.

    We asked the experts who advise startups which attributes they’d seen over the years in successful businesses. The answers are here:

    How and Why Your Team Is Everything…

    [image credit: Women 2.0]

  5. The Technology Of The Future Has Arrived – And It’s Watching You Very Closely…

    Hollywood often paints a bleak picture of privacy in the future: evil overlords using advanced technology to scrutinize every move the unsuspecting citizenry make. But we all know that’s not true – because it’s already happening. To wit:

    —-

    Read more on Privacy at JD Supra»

  6. Are you ready for smartphone ads that know exactly where you’re standing?

As reported by the New York Times, this Super Bowl weekend the NFL deployed Apple’s iBeacon technology to send users of the NFL Mobile App targeted advertisements based on their physical location in Manhattan or in MetLife Stadium. Fans walking down Broadway received messages such as – “Get your picture taken with the Lombardi Trophy, located between 43rd and 44th streets on Broadway”. Other messages alerted users to merchandise at nearby kiosks as they walked through MetLife.

Read: iBeacons Usher in New Era of Mobile Advertising in 2014, Raise Old Privacy Concerns

    Are you ready for smartphone ads that know exactly where you’re standing?

    As reported by the New York Times, this Super Bowl weekend the NFL deployed Apple’s iBeacon technology to send users of the NFL Mobile App targeted advertisements based on their physical location in Manhattan or in MetLife Stadium. Fans walking down Broadway received messages such as – “Get your picture taken with the Lombardi Trophy, located between 43rd and 44th streets on Broadway”. Other messages alerted users to merchandise at nearby kiosks as they walked through MetLife.

    Read: iBeacons Usher in New Era of Mobile Advertising in 2014, Raise Old Privacy Concerns

  7. End-of-life decisions are among the most difficult a family will ever face. Most people do not like to think about life support, ventilators, and artificial food and hydration.

    — Attorney Cheryl Jones of Pessin Katz Law on a real-life example of why everyone needs an advance health care directive.

  8. These University Athletes Want to Form a Labor Union, And It Could Change College Sports Forever

    JD Supra Buzz:

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    Are college athletes employees? That’s the question facing the National Labor Relations Board as it reviews a recent petition filed by members of the Northwestern University football team seeking recognition as a collective bargaining unit.

    The answer: probably not, but it might be more complicated than you think. First, the student perspective, from attorney Mark Mathison of Gray Plant Mooty

    “Under the leadership of star quarterback Kain Colter and with financial support from the United Steelworkers, the players argue they are not just simply players or student athletes, but ‘employees’ who have generated hundreds of millions of dollars for their respective schools. Calling the NCAA a dictatorship run without student input, the athletes say they want to be treated better by both the universities and the NCAA, with access to benefits such as long-term health care and education assistance if unable to complete their degrees due to injury.”

    The university disagrees, explains Matthew LaMourie of law firmPretiFlaherty

    “Northwestern’s administration draws a sharp distinction between a wage-earning employee and a student-athlete responsible for paying tuition for his or her education. […] Not surprisingly, the NCAA’s legal team has also argued that the matter is cut and dried:

    • This union-backed attempt to turn student-athletes into employees undermines the purpose of college: an education. Student-athletes are not employees, and their participation in college sports is voluntary. We stand for all student-athletes, not just those the unions want to professionalize.

    • Many student athletes are provided scholarships and many other benefits for their participation. There is no employment relationship between the NCAA, its affiliated institutions or student-athletes.

    • Student-athletes are not employees within any definition of the National Labor Relations Act or the Fair Labor Standards Act. We are confident the National Labor Relations Board will find in our favor, as there is no right to organize student-athletes.”

    Truth be told, the law does not appear to be on the side of the athletes. Attorney Tyrone Thomas of Mintz Levin:

    “[The College Athletes Players Association (the name taken by the athletes in their peitition to the NLRB)] stands for the proposition that the educational purpose is secondary and generally incidental to the student-athlete’s role with the university. In other words, it raises the question of whether student-athletes should have the status of employees under these circumstances. And this raises its own set of questions: Is it only students in revenue-generating sports or all scholarship athletes? How would other laws applicable to the employer-employee relationship, such as wage-hour and unemployment coverage, apply to these student-athletes? Are the student-athletes employed solely by their academic institution or the product of a joint employer relationship by the NCAA and the university?

    Of course, these questions assume that CAPA truly represents a group of ‘employees’ of common interest in an enterprise for paid wages. This will be a challenging threshold for the players to meet.”

    The NLRB has scheduled an investigative hearing to explore the notion of the athletes as employees for February 12. Until then read more on the issue and its implications for higher education below:

    —-

    More on Higher Education at JD Supra»

  9. Mark your calendars:

The FDA ruling sets a gluten limit of 20 ppm (parts per million) in any food that carries the label “gluten-free.” The same rules apply to foods labeled “without gluten,” “free of gluten,” and “no gluten.”  The rule will provide comfort and certainty to people with celiac disease that foods labeled “gluten-free,” whether on menu items in restaurants or food products for sale elsewhere, are safe for them to consume.
For restaurants that want to or are currently offering items labeled “gluten-free” or some similar label, those foods must be in compliance with the new rule by August 5, 2014.

Read: FDA Sets Guidelines For “Gluten-free” Foods In Stores And In Restaurants

    Mark your calendars:

    The FDA ruling sets a gluten limit of 20 ppm (parts per million) in any food that carries the label “gluten-free.” The same rules apply to foods labeled “without gluten,” “free of gluten,” and “no gluten.”  The rule will provide comfort and certainty to people with celiac disease that foods labeled “gluten-free,” whether on menu items in restaurants or food products for sale elsewhere, are safe for them to consume.

    For restaurants that want to or are currently offering items labeled “gluten-free” or some similar label, those foods must be in compliance with the new rule by August 5, 2014.

    Read: FDA Sets Guidelines For “Gluten-free” Foods In Stores And In Restaurants

  10. Overstock fined for overstating the difference between its prices and those of its competitors: 

A California court ruled earlier this month that Overstock must pay a roughly $6.8 million penalty to settle claims that the retailer “routinely and systematically” made false and misleading claims about the prices of its products on its website.

Read: Overstock Case Could Alter the Landscape of Price Comparison Advertising»

    Overstock fined for overstating the difference between its prices and those of its competitors: 

    A California court ruled earlier this month that Overstock must pay a roughly $6.8 million penalty to settle claims that the retailer “routinely and systematically” made false and misleading claims about the prices of its products on its website.

    Read: Overstock Case Could Alter the Landscape of Price Comparison Advertising»

  11. Let the Games begin!

The Court of Arbitration for Sport opened a temporary office in Sochi, Russia on 28 January 2014… The special tribunal, known as the CAS ad hoc Division has been set up to deal with legal disputes arising during the Olympic Winter Games…

Attorney Sam Churney of DLA Piper in The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) prepares for the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.

    Let the Games begin!

    The Court of Arbitration for Sport opened a temporary office in Sochi, Russia on 28 January 2014… The special tribunal, known as the CAS ad hoc Division has been set up to deal with legal disputes arising during the Olympic Winter Games…

    Attorney Sam Churney of DLA Piper in The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) prepares for the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.

  12. 
Currently there are attempts underway to revive extinct species such as the carrier pigeon, the woolly mammoth, and the gastric brooding frog from preserved remains of those species. If successful, it is possible that some revived species may eventually be released into the wild. The revival of extinct species may result in litigation over the reintroduction of those revived species into the wild and may change how we view the Federal Endangered Species Act.

Steven Anderson, Lucas Quass, and Charity Schiller of Best Best & Krieger in Resurrecting the Departed: Legal Implications of Reintroducing Revived Species

    Currently there are attempts underway to revive extinct species such as the carrier pigeon, the woolly mammoth, and the gastric brooding frog from preserved remains of those species. If successful, it is possible that some revived species may eventually be released into the wild. The revival of extinct species may result in litigation over the reintroduction of those revived species into the wild and may change how we view the Federal Endangered Species Act.

    Steven Anderson, Lucas Quass, and Charity Schiller of Best Best & Krieger in Resurrecting the Departed: Legal Implications of Reintroducing Revived Species

  13. Federal judge overturns Oklahoma ban on same-sex marriage.

    Federal judge overturns Oklahoma ban on same-sex marriage.

  14. The complaint alleges that the loans issued by the online payday lender violated usury laws in the borrowers’ home states, and that Indian tribal law does not apply to the loans at issue. The CFPB then alleges that CashCall engaged in unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts under federal law by collecting on debts that are illegal under state law.

    — Attorney Rita Lin of Morrison & Foerster on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s lawsuit against online payday lender CashCall.

  15. 
The Ninth Circuit found that attempts to distinguish between bloggers and traditional media outlets for purposes of defamation liability were “unworkable.”

Attorney Jeff Lewis of Broedlow Lewis on the recent ruling in Obsidian Finance Group v. Cox  that extends the same First Amendment protections to bloggers as those afforded to traditional journalists.

    The Ninth Circuit found that attempts to distinguish between bloggers and traditional media outlets for purposes of defamation liability were “unworkable.”

    Attorney Jeff Lewis of Broedlow Lewis on the recent ruling in Obsidian Finance Group v. Cox  that extends the same First Amendment protections to bloggers as those afforded to traditional journalists.