On February 12, 2015, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced that three U.S.-based importers had agreed to pay more than $3 million to resolve a lawsuit brought by the United States under the False Claims Act (“FCA”). The Government alleged that the importers had made false declarations to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) and conspired with other domestic companies to make false declarations to CBP in order to avoid paying “antidumping” and “countervailing” duties. No Government contracts were involved. These were “reverse” FCA claims based upon underpayment of duties for private sector import transactions. Continue Reading
On February 9, 2015, the United States’ Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) issued final guidelines to outline its regulatory enforcement approach to mobile medical applications (or “apps”). The FDA is taking a risk-based approach, focusing its oversight on apps that (1) meet the definition of medical devices under section 201(h) of the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act, and (2) could pose a risk to a patient’s safety if the app did not function as intended. The FDA will not exercise authority over apps that are not medical devices under section 201(h), nor will it enforce its rules and regulations against the numerous apps that meet the definition of medical devices but present only minimal risk to consumers or patients. Continue Reading
The Government of the People’s Republic of China (“China”) and the Government of the Republic of Korea (“Korea”) have entered into a co-production treaty that became effective September 1, 2014. The treaty entitles films that are co-produced by one or more nationals of one country in cooperation with one or more nationals of the other country and made in accordance with the treaty to all the benefits which are or may be accorded to national films by each Party (that is, China or Korea) under its national laws. A key benefit of national treatment in China for qualifying co-production films is that China’s import quota on foreign films is not applicable to such films.
Sheppard Mullin’s intellectual property group prevailed before the United States Supreme Court in the trademark matter entitled Hana Financial v. Hana Bank. 574 U.S. ___ (2015). Justice Sotomayor, writing for a unanimous court, affirmed a Ninth Circuit ruling that the doctrine of trademark tacking presents a question of fact appropriate for jury determination. 735 F.3d 1158 (9th Cir. 2013). This was the first substantive trademark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in nearly a decade. Partner Carlo Van den Bosch argued the case before the Supreme Court on behalf of client Hana Bank, who he has represented since the initial filing in 2007 in California federal court.