Archives: Product Development

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Patent Litigation Development for Manufacturers: U.S. Supreme Court Limits where Corporations can be Sued for Patent Infringement

This week, we are pleased to have a guest post from James Nault, a patent attorney and member of Robinson & Cole LLP’s intellectual property litigation group. The United States Supreme Court just limited where corporations can be sued for patent infringement in a case called TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, … Continue Reading

Keurig Settlement An Expensive Reminder About Product Defect Reporting Obligations

This week, we welcome a post from Jim Ray, a partner in the Hartford office of Robinson & Cole LLP.  Jim’s practice includes environmental and product liability litigation and counseling, and he has assisted a number of clients implementing voluntary corrective actions under the CPSC Fast Track recall program. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission … Continue Reading

Things Manufacturers Should Be Watching In 2017 In The Areas of Corporate Compliance / Litigation

As is our annual tradition, this is the first in a series of posts that provide industry and legal outlooks for manufacturers as we head into 2017.  I will start with corporate compliance and litigation.  Matt will follow with labor/employment.  And, Megan will conclude the series with Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S). Here are issues … Continue Reading

Complying With Conflict Minerals Laws: Global Best Practices for Manufacturers and Distributors

Last month, I gave a presentation to manufacturers and distributors throughout the United States on Conflict Minerals Laws.   The program was sponsored by the United States Department of Commerce.  These laws attempt to curb the acquisition of certain minerals from a certain part of Africa that are believed to support regional conflicts. Here are some … Continue Reading

Key Considerations For Foreign Manufacturers That Wish To Sell Products In The United States

Last week, I had the privilege of speaking at the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section Annual Meeting in Boston.  The title of my presentation was:  “Key Considerations for Foreign Manufacturers That Wish to Sell Products to the United States” which was presented at the meeting of the International Expansion and Cross-Border Transactions Subcommittee. Here are … Continue Reading

How The Failure To Comply With The Conflict Minerals Law Can Expose Manufacturers To Criminal Penalties

Last year, we provided an overview regarding the requirement that U.S. publicly traded companies disclose their use of “conflict minerals.”  As of 2014, the Government Accounting Office reported that 1,321 companies filed the requisite disclosure.  The GAO anticipated that over 6,000 companies could be affected by the rule.  That discrepancy can be explained either by: … Continue Reading

The Chemistry Was Right For TSCA Reform

Thank you to my colleague, Emilee Mooney Scott, for her contributions to this post. Emilee is an associate in our Environmental & Utilities Practice Group. In a rare bipartisan effort, Congress overwhelmingly passed a bill significantly reforming the chemical safety provisions of the Toxic Substances Control Act (“TSCA”) for the first time in its forty-year … Continue Reading

How Passage of Trade Secrets Act Will Help Manufacturers

We welcome a guest post this week from Nuala Droney and James Nault, who are members of Robinson + Cole’s Intellectual Property Litigation Practice Team. This week, the United States Senate passed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, which, if passed by the House and signed into law by President Obama, would give trade … Continue Reading

Legal Issues for Manufacturers To Consider When Selling Into New Markets

Manufacturers continue to look for ways to increase sales revenue without a massive infusion of capital.  Many companies have been successful in adapting current products for new uses and markets.  For instance, a company that makes aerospace components might use certain core competencies to develop products that can be sold in other markets without investing … Continue Reading

Department Of Justice (DOJ) Prioritizes Prosecutions Of Food Companies

The post below is a follow-up to an earlier post written by my colleagues, Edward Heath and Kate Dion. Edward is my partner and is Chair of Robinson + Cole’s White-Collar Defense and Corporate Compliance Practice. Kate is a litigation associate who routinely handles government and internal investigations for manufacturing clients. In the wake of … Continue Reading

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Continues To Focus On Manufacturers’ Warranties

As readers of the blog know, we have written previously about the importance of periodically reviewing warranty language to avoid scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).   This week, the FTC blog published another article entitled “The latest word of warranties.” In the post, the FTC offered the following guidance: If your business offers warranties, here are … Continue Reading

Avoiding a Rocky Road: Lessons For Manufacturers From Blue Bell Creameries’ Listeria Investigation

The post below was written by my colleagues, Edward Heath and Kate Dion.  Edward is my partner and is Chair of Robinson + Cole’s White-Collar Defense and Corporate Compliance Practice.  Kate is a litigation associate who routinely handles government and internal investigations for manufacturing clients. Ice cream maker Blue Bell Creameries has found itself in a sticky situation that … Continue Reading

TSCA Reform and Its Implications for Manufacturers

Even if you’re well-versed in environmental statutes, one you might not spend a lot of time thinking about is the Toxic Substances Control Act, or TSCA.  That’s because, with a few notable exceptions (PCBs being a good example), TSCA currently focuses on regulating new chemicals as they are introduced into commerce, or on significant new uses … Continue Reading

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Settles Complaint Against Patent Troll That Manufacturers Should Be Aware Of

Earlier this year, I wrote about efforts to reform the patent system to curtail abuses by “patent trolls.”  Patent trolls do not manufacture anything.  Rather, they often buy up patents and then bring lawsuits against businesses seeking to extract licensing fees.  Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported on its blog that it had settled a … Continue Reading

2014 Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA) Manufacturing Summit

The Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA) is holding its annual Manufacturing Summit on Friday, May 30 in Cromwell, Connecticut.  Our firm is proud to be a sponsor of the event, which will include discussion on topics such as:  (1) the aerospace industry in Connecticut; (2) the 2014 Connecticut Manufacturing Workforce Survey; and (3) tax issues and implications for manufacturers.  … Continue Reading

Happy Earth Day! Let’s talk about Sustainable Manufacturing

It’s Earth Day, April 22, 2014, and I’m an environmental attorney.  So I felt compelled to make sure that my post this week focused on the environment and the efforts of the manufacturing community in improving our environment.   The (relatively) easy part is done – companies comply with the various air, water and waste laws … Continue Reading

California’s Draft Initial List of “Priority Products” under Its Safer Consumer Products Program

On March 13, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) announced the initial draft list of “priority products” under the state’s Safer Consumer Products program.  Once the list is finalized, the program will requires companies to determine if there are less toxic alternatives to the chemicals in these consumer products. The three “priority products” … Continue Reading

A Renewed Call To Reform The Patent System To Address “Patent Trolls”

The words “manufacturer” and “innovation” often go together like “peanut butter” and “jelly.”  Many manufacturers spend years developing processes and products that they then must protect by using the legal system such as through obtaining patents, trademarks, etc. Over the past several years, many manufacturers have learned that there are entities in the marketplace known as “patent … Continue Reading

Looking Forward to 2014 For Manufacturers – Part III (Corporate Compliance/Litigation)

From a corporate compliance/litigation perspective, my watchlist includes 3-D printing (“additive manufacturing”) and the rise of consumer class actions particularly in the area of food and beverage and nutritional/dietary supplements and the impact those cases might have on all manufacturers and distributors. 3-D Printing / Additive Manufacturing: Almost every day, I see some sort of article … Continue Reading

Transitioning to Safer Chemicals – A Win, Win, Win….

Last week, we discussed the new OSHA “Annotated Permissible Exposure Limits,” which OSHA announced in a press release dated Thursday, Oct. 24.  In the same press release, OSHA announced its new “Safer Chemical Tool Kit” for employers. The idea is to go beyond compliance, and substitute, reduce, or even eliminate chemical hazards.  This is not a … Continue Reading

Is It Time To Review (And Revise) Your Terms & Conditions of Sale?

Over the past year, I have helped several manufacturers and/or distributors review and revise their “Terms and Conditions of Sale” (a.k.a, “standard terms”).  As many of you know, “T&Cs” are critical to most businesses as they attempt to set the contractual expectations between two parties.  Sometimes those parties are end users of the product.  Other … Continue Reading

3-D Printing: The Wave of the Future?

Last month, I had lunch with a friend who is an in-house lawyer who oversees intellectual property (IP) litigation for a diversfied international manfucturer.  During our lunch, we discussed the impact that 3-D printing will have on the marketplace over the next few decades.  The business and legal implications are wide ranging as some believe that it will revolutionize manufacturing and others … Continue Reading
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