The Ninth Circuit recently asked the California Supreme Court to provide it with guidance concerning certain types of non-compete provisions that could have huge ramifications for California’s business environment.  In essence, the Ninth Circuit asked the California Supreme Court whether section 16600 of the California Business and Professions Code bars agreements between businesses that place a restriction on one business from doing business with another.  Depending on how the California Supreme Court answers the inquiry, the result could have a massive impact on a wide range of agreements in California such as franchise agreements, manufacturer/distributor agreements, joint ventures, etc.
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Inquiry on Non-Competes Could Have Huge Implications

California was the first state to legalize marijuana for medical use.  In 1996, California approved Proposition 215, the California Compassionate Use Act.  Two decades later, California voters approved  Proposition 64, the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA).  Despite the fact that cannabis has been legal in California since 1996, you still

When a winery wants to tell consumers the geographic source of its wine, it includes on the label the wine’s “appellation of origin.”  An appellation of origin tells the consumer where the wine grapes were grown.  Appellations are either the name of a county or state, or a federally-recognized growing region called American Viticultural Areas

By: David R. Gabor

Professor Michael L. Marlow of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo recently published a preview of his paper on cancer rates and Proposition 65 entitled, "Too Much (Questionable) Information?" See Wall Street Journal, page A13, January 21, 2014.

Proposition 65 is the popular name for the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, codified at California Health & Safety Code section 25249.7, et seq. This now-infamous California voter initiative is why California residents and visitors alike are accosted by signage on physical locations such hotel lobbies and parking garages as well as on certain commercial items such as screwdrivers and soldering paste, threatening that they are exposed to toxic levels of carcinogens or reproductive toxicants by entering the property or using the product.


Continue Reading Proposition 65 – Twenty-Seven Years Later And Still No Observable Effect

By:David Gabor

On December 30, 2013, the Federal Court of Appeals, in Allergan, Inc. v. Athena Cosmetics, Inc., et al., an as-yet unpublished decision, affirmed a California District Court ruling that has the potential significantly to affect advertising law and the use of the California unfair competition statute at B&P Code §17200, et seq. to regulate commerce. http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/images/stories/opinions-orders/13-1286.Opinion.12-26-2013.1.PDF In that case, the Federal Circuit affirmed that a California unfair competition claim is limited in injunctive effect to California only.

The key facts are as follows. Amgen, the manufacturer of Latisse eyelash thickener, sued Athena for its competing RevitaLash product, by asserting a number of federal patent and California Section 17200 unfair competition claims. The issue was whether RevitaLash could be marketed as a medical product that would grow and lengthen eyelashes.  Amgen sued because its own brand is the only product presently approved by the FDA to grow eyelashes.


Continue Reading The Long Lashes of the Law: The Federal Circuit Rejects Nation-wide Application of An Injunction Based on California Unfair Competition Statutes