August 23, 2018

Leading IP firm joins Venable, DIRECTV delivers a victory for advertisers, and more in this issue of Advertising Law News & Analysis

3 min

Leading IP Firm to Join Venable

This week, Venable LLP announced that it has reached an agreement with Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto, one of the world's leading intellectual property firms, for that firm to join Venable. The deal is expected to close November 1.

With the addition of the Fitzpatrick practice, Venable will grow to approximately 800 attorneys – roughly 175 of whom practice IP law. This growth will more than double the size of Venable's intellectual property team to 175, making it one of the largest IP groups in the country, and will double the size of Venable's New York office to more than 170 lawyers, placing it among the largest firms in the city.

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DIRECTV Delivers Victory for Introductory Offer and Subscription Advertisers

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has waged a steady war against advertisers using introductory offers that turn into subscription agreements, write Venable attorneys Len Gordon and Kathleen Sheridan in a recent blog post. In March 2015, the FTC sued DIRECTV, alleging that the company failed to disclose material terms of its introductory offer and its subscription agreements properly. Unlike many other companies, DIRECTV chose to fight. Last week, the judge granted DIRECTV's motion in part, tossing out large parts of the FTC's case. The opinion provides insightful guidance on how to structure continuity offers and illustrates the difference between alleging something is deceptive and proving it.

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From the Tool Kit

Subscription programs that begin with a free trial and/or renew on a negative-option basis are frequent targets of the FTC and state attorneys general. In the most recent edition of the firm's Advertising Law Tool Kit, Venable partner Len Gordon provides a checklist that can help marketers avoid recurring issues with continuity offers.

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Upcoming Events

The Regulatory Landscape in 2019 — and Beyond

September 25, 2018 | Las Vegas, NV

The Performance-Driven Marketing Institute (PDMI) is ready to tackle the regulatory, legal, and government affairs issues facing the direct-response industry. Join Venable attorneys and leaders in industry self-regulation for a discussion of hot topics among regulators and law enforcement leaders. We will also explore what a self-regulation program that addresses these topics could look like in the future.


Consumer Surveys

September 20, 2018 | Webinar

Consumer surveys play an increasingly important role in advertising law, whether it's a Lanham Act case, a regulatory or self-regulatory matter, or internal counseling. Yet consumer surveys can also be a trap for the unwary. Join us as and experts from Applied Marketing Science as we unpack some of the mysteries surrounding the design and implementation of consumer surveys.

Registration details coming soon.