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Journal of Regulatory Compliance

How will the Supreme Court’s new rule barring the government from refusing offensive trademarks affect the marketplace?

On June 19, 2017, the Supreme Court, in an 8-0 ruling, found that the government can no longer sensor trademarks on the grounds that they may be offensive. In Matal v. Tam, the Supreme Court Justices found the seventy-one year old rule allowing the government to refuse offensive trademarks to be unconstitutional and to violate free speech and first amendment rights. The justices were unable to agree on exactly what legal standard was to apply to the present case or future cases. The revocation of this seventy-one year old rule that has affected the registration of many marks over the years is bound to have an effect on the future of trademark law and trademark litigation. Immediately following the Supreme Court’s decision, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) was inundated with requests to register offensive trademarks.

REGISTER NOW for the 2018 Compliance Symposium!

“What is the Role of a Regulation if it is Not Enforced?”

Friday, February 16
9 a.m.–4 p.m.

Philip H. Corboy Law Center
25 E. Pearson Street
Power Rogers & Smith Ceremonial Courtroom, 10th Floor
Chicago, IL

The symposium will explore questions of theory and practice related to an administrative state that has such a largesse of regulations (and quasi-regulations in the form of interpretative guidance) that administrative agencies cannot possibly audit or enforce all of their expectations for regulated actors. The size and decentralized control of the administrative state poses questions of legal theory on the role of regulations in society if the state has no intention or lacks resources for enforcing them and practical questions for the regulated actors in how or when to comply with the regulations. But it also sets up a minefield for the regulated actor if enforcement agencies can play “gotcha” on technical strict liability rules which may be buried amid manuals or have been previously enforced. Although focusing on law, the symposium is intended to be multi-disciplinary and seeks to bring together scholars from law, ethics, political science, business, economics, and philosophy.

Death and Taxes

As the president and the Republican Party inch closer to finalizing their proposed tax overhaul, one major proposed change is the repeal of the estate tax. The estate tax is a tax on an individual’s right to transfer property upon his or her death, usually to the individual’s surviving relatives or heirs. Currently, estates are taxed at a rate of 40% after the first 5.5 million. While the tax itself only impacts the wealthiest 0.2% of Americans, the inclusion or repeal of the tax in the Republican tax bill will affect Americans of all income brackets.

Appreciating Taxes

After failing to arrive at a consensus on healthcare reform, the Republican party recently passed a blueprint which marked their shift in focus to something less contentious: the American tax code. If the Republicans are successful, compliance with tax regulation in the United States may soon change. An aspect of the code likely to be reformed is how asset appreciation is taxed.  

How Native Advertising is Changing the PR Industry and the Way Corporations Interact with Consumers

Nearly 40% of publishers using native advertising are not compliant with the Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) guidelines; this figure has improved from one year ago, when only 30% of users were following the guidelines. In 2017 alone, the FTC estimates that the revenue generated from native advertising will total $20.9 billion, with an estimated 610 new advertisers each month this number is projected to increase to $59 billion in 2018. The number of corporations using native advertising has increased over the years because of social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, where much of the in-feed content is paid or sponsored.

Powdered Caffeine – Friend or Foe?

Most Americans consume caffeine regularly. High amounts of caffeine are found in a wide range of drinks including sodas, coffee, and energy drinks. Like most things, caffeine is safe for most people as long as it is consumed in moderation. The dosage size of powdered caffeine has come under scrutiny mostly due to its potency. The Food and Drug Administration has notified powdered caffeine distributors that their products are potentially dangerous to consumers as they have the possibility of causing serious adverse health consequences, including death. The FDA’s notices required powdered caffeine distributors to accurately label and market their products ensuring they are in compliance with the law. Four of the five distributors removed their products from the market following the notices, and the fifth distributor no longer markets to consumers.

Issue II of the Journal of Regulatory Compliance Is Now Live!

I’m excited to announce that we have released the second issue of the Journal of Regulatory Compliance!

Issue II begins with a reflection on compliance education at Loyola University Chicago School of Law from our own previous Executive Editor, Ryan Whitney; followed by an analysis of compliance and ethics issues with third-party vendor relationships from the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs’ own Michael Silverman. Jennifer Mascott, an expert in administrative and Constituional law from George Washington , contributed a discussion of the status of administrative law judges of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as “Officers of the United States.” Last but certainly not least is a critique of financial and securities enforcement against compliance personnel by Erica Skoczylas. Journal of Regulatory Compliance Editor-in-Chief Ryan Meade rounds out the set, with an afterword introducing some of the themes and concepts that will be explored in Issue III.

I had a wonderful time working with our distinguished authors to bring the publication to you as readers today. I hope you enjoy our insightful author’s analyses and insights.

Averting Disaster: Building Regulations in the Wake of Hurricane Irma

After Hurricane Irma’s dissipation on September 15, 2017, the residents of Florida can now begin to assess the damage caused by the strongest hurricane making landfall since Katrina in 2005. According to early estimates, Irma has caused over 62 billion dollars in damage. However, amongst the destruction there is a silver lining; the damage caused was significantly limited by building regulations that went into effect in 2002. Homes and buildings that would have otherwise been destroyed by Hurricane Irma were able to survive, and suffered only minor damage.

Kicking Off a New Academic Year at the Center for Compliance Studies

The academic year for 2017-2018 has begun at the Center for Compliance Studies. We have a lot on tap—a new look for the blog, an exciting symposium in February 2018, Issue 2 of the Journal soon to be published, and a number of new scholarly endeavors.