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Retail Law Advisor

Category Archives: Litigation

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Teavana and Whole Foods: Is the Pendulum Swinging in Favor of Protecting Mall Landlords Against Strategic Tenant Closures?

Posted in Litigation, Retail

As mall landlords continue to see substantial tenant vacancies, some landlords have begun to challenge solvent tenants who decide to go dark before the end of their lease. In two important recent cases — Simon Property Group, L.P. v. Starbucks Corporation, Case No. 49D01-1708-PL-032170 (Indiana Superior Court) and Bellevue Square, LLC v. Whole Foods Market… Continue Reading

Forging a Legal Firewall: Recent Decisions May Shield Retailers from ADA-Based Website Inaccessibility Claims

Posted in Employment, Litigation, Retail

In a post published earlier this year, we commented on a surge of lawsuits being filed under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination in the full and free enjoyment of public accommodations on the basis of disability. Where websites and mobile applications serve as extensions… Continue Reading

Class Action Lawsuits on the Rise under New Jersey’s Consumer Protection Laws – Which Retailers Will Be Targeted Next?

Posted in Litigation, Retail, Retail Sales

Does your retail business conduct sales online? For most retailers today, the answer is likely yes. This means that the recent surge of class action lawsuits against merchants arising out of a consumer protection law in New Jersey called the Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act (TCCWNA) merits your attention. This statute is still relatively… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Says ‘Give Me a ©’ to the Fashion Industry

Posted in Intellectual Property, Litigation, Retail

A recent U.S. Supreme Court copyright decision analyzing cheerleader uniforms may have a profound impact on retailers, and on the fashion industry in particular. On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court held in Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc. that original design elements that are separable from the “useful article” upon which they are… Continue Reading

FACTA Check: Credit and Debit Receipts Can Show Injury-in-Fact

Posted in Compliance, Litigation, Retail, Retail Sales

In a series of recent decisions that have important implications for retailers, large and small, federal courts have allowed consumer class actions to proceed against businesses for violation of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (“FACTA”), even where the consumers did not allege actual damages resulting from the violation. FACTA requires businesses that accept… Continue Reading

Retail Litigation Center: A National and Influential Force In Litigation

Posted in Employment, Intellectual Property, Litigation, Retail

The Retail Litigation Center (RLC) is a trade organization attached to the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) that describes itself as “the only organization dedicated to advocating the retail industry’s perspective in those judicial proceedings that are most important to the retail community.”  Launched by RILA in 2010, the RLC is a membership-based organization whose members include many… Continue Reading

Claims about Biodegradable Plastics Breakdown Under FTC Scrutiny: Marketers Beware!

Posted in Compliance, Environmental, Green, Litigation, Retail

In the recent administrative proceeding before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against ECM Biofilms, Inc. (ECM), the FTC’s presiding chief administrative law judge (ALJ) ruled that the plastics additive manufacturer ECM violated the FTC Act by deceptively claiming, and providing others with the means to claim, that plastics treated with ECM’s additives would completely biodegrade… Continue Reading

It’s Time to Give Your Hiring Processes a Check-up. Are They Compliant?

Posted in Employment, Litigation, Retail

As your prospective employees are brushing up on their interview skills, it’s also a good time to ensure your hiring practices and procedures are in order.  A regular review of employment application processes will keep them up-to-date. Scheduling time with hiring managers and Human Resources to freshen up interviewing procedure helps keep the entire organization… Continue Reading

The Obligation to Preserve Footage from Surveillance Cameras

Posted in Litigation, Retail

Surveillance cameras are everywhere these days, including the retail environment. Surveillance technology allows retailers to monitor their premises more thoroughly than ever, thereby enhancing security. At the same time, however, the increased security comes with legal obligations that are still evolving and may vary depending on the jurisdiction. For example, when must retailers preserve surveillance… Continue Reading

Capitalize on the U.S. Market, But Protect Your Brand

Posted in Intellectual Property, Litigation, Retail, Retail Sales

Are your brands and valuable intellectual property adequately protected? Retailers entering into or expanding operations in the U.S. access a consumer base which spends more than four trillion dollars on retail goods annually. There are lucrative opportunities for foreign retailers to introduce fresh and innovative brands to U.S. consumers. But retailers who fail to implement… Continue Reading

Trouble at the Mall: Retailers Face New Challenges with ADA Compliance

Posted in Compliance, Litigation, Retail

Recently, the United States District Court for the District of Colorado found 248 Hollister brand stores around the country in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). These stores used a raised front porch at the store entrance that is inaccessible to people in wheelchairs. The case (Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition, et al. v. Abercrombie… Continue Reading

An Apple a Day Increases eBook Prices and Scrutiny of Most Favored Nation (MFN) Clauses

Posted in Antitrust, Litigation, Retail

In United States v. Apple , No. 12-C2826, 2013 WL 3454986 (S.D.N.Y. July 10, 2013), the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York found that Apple, Inc. colluded with the top publishing companies in a scheme to raise eBook prices in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Six major publishing companies,… Continue Reading

Fake It and You Won’t Make It: Putting an End to Online Counterfeiting

Posted in Litigation

In the marketplace for counterfeit goods, online transactions are the new frontier. The ease and reach of the Internet have made it all too easy for devious manufacturers to sell counterfeit merchandise online rather than on the street, perhaps hoping to remain hidden from public view. Therefore, to protect their brands, retailers need to monitor… Continue Reading