Kaye Scholer’s Consumer Products Group understands the unique challenges facing manufacturers and retailers in a challenging market. Drawing on more than 50 years of experience representing leading consumer products companies in complex disputes, class actions, brand protection, acquisitions, investments, securities offerings and general business matters, we have a proven track record representing some of the world’s biggest and best known brands, including: The Hershey Company, Amazon, The Walt Disney Company, Avon, ExxonMobil, Philip Morris USA, Johnson & Johnson, Kenneth Cole, Avery Dennison, Nintendo, Random House and Benjamin Moore, among others.
In the Market
- Three Kaye Scholer Partners Named Among Benchmark Litigation’s Top 250 Women... June 29, 2016 • Recognitions
- Kaye Scholer Secures Victory for Avon in Consumer Class Action Case October 5, 2015 • Client Successes
- Mel Cherney Discusses the Return of the Strategic Acquirer in Seeking Alpha October 3, 2014 • Media Mentions
- Emanuel Cherney Shares Reasoning Behind Dual-Track Exits for Private Equities in Law360 June 4, 2014 • Media Mentions
The Numbers: Our Accomplishments
- 32 Number of Fortune 500 companies on our client roster
- 80+ Consumer products companies represented in complex litigation and strategic transactions
- 2 Defense verdicts for Philip Morris USA in the last 2 years
Capabilities: How We Do It
Our multidisciplinary team of litigators and corporate lawyers provide seamless service and business-sense solutions across several practice areas, including:
- Commercial Litigation
- Consumer Fraud Class Actions
- False Advertising
- Trademark & Copyright
- Patent Litigation
- Trade Secrets
- Global Cybersecurity & Privacy
- Product Liability
- Employment & Labor
- Mergers and Acquisitions
- Securities Offerings and Reporting
- Government Investigations & FCPA
- China Market Entry and Expansion
Our extensive history of working with clients in a wide range of industries enables us to understand the complexities and nuances within various segments of the consumer products market, including:
- Beauty & Health
- Consumer Electronics
- Fashion & Luxury
- Financial Products & Services
- Food, Beverage & Supplements
- General Consumer Goods
- Media & Entertainment
- Technology & Telecom
- Travel & Transportation
Beauty & Health
- Cosmetics company: In a putative class action in California federal court. This ongoing litigation involves waiting time penalties under Cal. Labor Code §§ 201-203, an unfair competition claim under Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 17200, et seq., unpaid overtime under Cal. Lab. Law §§ 510, 1194 and 1198, et seq. and wage statement penalties under Cal. Lab. Code § 226, among other claims.
- The Body Shop: Favorably settled a nationwide class action brought by employees seeking overtime wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act and involving the application of the overtime exemption requirements for store managers at 350 retail locations throughout the US.
- Lutron Electronics: Secured a favorable settlement in a case in which we alleged infringement of several patents and a copyright, and also sought damages for acts of unfair competition, false advertising and misappropriation of several Lutron trade secrets. Lutron was awarded royalties on the defendant’s past and future sales of all products using Lutron patents.
- Nintendo: In an action in the Eastern District of Texas claiming that Nintendo’s Wii and GameCube video game controllers infringed five patents relating to video game controllers. Following a favorable Markman ruling, the plaintiff stipulated to noninfringement of one of the patents-in-suit. The Court also granted Nintendo’s motion for summary judgment of no willful infringement. Following trial, the jury returned a verdict of no infringement with respect to the Wii Remote and Wii Nunchuk controllers. On appeal, the Federal Circuit found the patent-in-suit invalid and reversed the district court’s judgment of infringement and $28 million damages award with respect to the Wii Classic and GameCube controllers, thus achieving a complete victory for Nintendo.
- ExxonMobil: Won a motion to dismiss, on the pleadings, regarding a putative class action in the Central District of California seeking damages and other relief against several major oil companies under California consumer protection statutes and common law. The Ninth Circuit upheld the judgment.
Fashion & Luxury
- Coach: In lawsuit alleging infringement of trade dress of Coach handbags.
- Kenneth Cole Productions: Favorably resolved for the company and its CEO a shareholder class action suit filed in New York State Court alleging breaches of fiduciary duty and aiding and abetting breaches of fiduciary duty, as well as an insider trading inquiry by FINRA.
- Luxury goods manufacturer: In trademark and other matters, including in cases involving infringement and online counterfeiting. Recently, the firm obtained a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against 88 websites and domain names involved in the sale of counterfeits of our client’s well-known luxury brands.
Financial Products & Services
- Experian: In several infringement actions involving its marks FreeCreditReport.com and Plus Score. Recently obtained seven-figure jury verdict after five-week trial on behalf of Experian subsidiary for cybersquatting and trademark infringement of FreeCreditReport.com® trademark. Obtained complete defense verdict on counterclaims for cancellation based on alleged genericism, fraud on the Patent and Trademark Office, and antitrust violations.
- Wolverine Trading LLC and Wolverine Execution Services LLC: Against allegations of patent infringement brought by an options trading software firm, and Kaye Scholer prosecuted trade secret misappropriation and breach of fiduciary duty counterclaims against the software firm and one of its owners, a former options exchange official. Case settled on favorable terms during discovery.
Food, Beverage & Supplements
- Kraft Foods (one of the leading food and beverage companies in North America): In the sale of its salted snacks business in several European jurisdictions to Herkules Capital.
- Tequila Avión (a premium tequila brand): In its joint venture with Pernod Ricard, the world’s co-leader in spirits and wines, granting Pernod Ricard exclusive global distribution rights. Pernod Ricard also acquired a minority interest in Tequila Avión.
- The Hershey Company: In numerous matters involving its Kisses, Reese’s, Hershey’s and other marks and related trade dress, including matters involving product configurations, color marks, grey goods and licensed marks, with most matters successfully resolved with pre-litigation efforts.
General Consumer Goods
- Avery Dennison: In patent infringement, tortious interference and false advertising actions brought by Continental Datalabel, Inc. relating to the design and sale of Avery’s self-adhesive, EASY PEEL® labels. After more than three years of litigation, the district court granted summary judgment to Avery, dismissing Continental’s claims of tortious interference with business expectation and false advertising under the Lanham Act. In April 2013, the district court entered final judgment in favor of our client, rejecting Continental’s efforts to have the court reconsider the summary judgment rulings and dismissing Continental’s patent infringement claims given the pendency of reexamination proceedings in the US Patent Office.
- Philip Morris USA: Serving as one of a small group of national coordinating counsel for defense against class action cases involving low tar and “Lights” cigarettes. The firm is also one of a small group of National Trial Counsel for Philip Morris, responsible for trying their class action and mass aggregated cases.
- Solo Cup Co.: In successful defense of precedent-setting qui tam action for alleged false patent marking of products under 35 USC. § 292.
- Benjamin Moore & Co.: Prosecuted trademark and trade dress infringement actions and obtained settlements from other companies agreeing not to infringe.
Media & Entertainment
- Random House, Inc.: Persuaded counsel for the private class action plaintiffs in In re Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation—in which purchasers of electronic books filed a number of complaints, claiming to have overpaid as a result of an alleged conspiracy among five major publishers and Apple—to withdraw their claims against Random House when filing their consolidated amended complaint in the action.
- Time Warner Cable: Acted as lead counsel for all defendants in a multidistrict litigation patent infringement suit brought by Rembrandt Technologies on a patent that Rembrandt alleges covers the FCC-mandated standard for digital over-the-air broadcast television. We succeeded in obtaining a favorable claim construction ruling resulting in a stipulation of noninfringement. Kaye Scholer then represented Time Warner Cable in the appeal. In September 2012, the appeals court affirmed the lower court’s finding, scoring a major victory for our client and the dozens of other defendants.
- Staples: In a number of suits, including a defense of a trademark infringement claim brought by Office Depot, which alleged that Staples’ reference to its competitor’s name in comparative advertising constituted trademark infringement, and successful defense of a trademark infringement suit brought by Boise Office Products with respect to Staples’ “That Was Easy” tagline, resulting in voluntary dismissal of claims after the conclusion of discovery.
Technology & Telecom
- Google Inc. and Motorola: In several patent cases asserting infringement with respect to various aspects of Google’s critical core search and advertising functions, as well as cases accusing Android functionality.
Travel & Transportation
- Ford Motor Company, Volvo Cars of North America and Mazda Motor of America: In a patent infringement/invalidity and breach of contract action relating to methods for configuring vehicles through Internet/electronic interface.