Background
In a service-based economy, many industrial and consumer products are manufactured and sold through trademark licensing arrangements. Under these types of contractual agreements, the owner of the trademark licenses its brand name or mark to another company in exchange for a licensing fee. The authorized user of the trademark then has a contractual right to manufacture and sell the goods bearing the trademark. However, in some circumstances, the mere act of licensing the trademark to a manufacturer of a product for a fee can expose the licensor to a product liability claim under the Apparent Manufacturers Doctrine (AMD).
Continue Reading Licensors Beware: Substantial Participation in Design, Manufacture and/or Distribution of Licensee’s Product May Impose Liability Under Apparent Manufacturers Doctrine (AMD)

Clients who are first introduced to the concept of strict liability in the context of a product liability lawsuit are often shocked to learn they can be held liable for a product defect simply because they sold the defective product. The first question we always hear in these situations is “How can I be held liable if I did not have any involvement in the decisions that went into how the product was designed or built?”
Continue Reading When Product Liability Meets the Uniform Commercial Code

On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed into law a massive (1,300-page) five-year, $281 billion transportation bill that not only covers highway, transit and rail project funding but also includes the following important provisions regarding tires:

Continue Reading Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act Could Spell Trouble for Tire Manufacturers, Distributors and Retailers

car-tire_122438534TSOur February 18, 2014 blog, Massachusetts, Where Only Young Rubber Hits the Road, covered An Act to Increase Road Safety, proposed by the Massachusetts House of Representatives, which was assigned bill tracking number H3016. The Act would require issuance of a rejection certificate for any vehicle equipped with a light-truck or passenger tire, including a full-service spare, more than six years old.

Continue Reading Update: Anti-Tire Aging Legislation in Massachusetts

Computer key blue - LikeI recently read an article titled “When ‘Liking’ a Brand Online Voids the Right to Sue,” written by Stephanie Strom of the New York Times, that reported an interesting change in the way manufacturers are dealing with consumers and using social media as a risk management tool. In the past I have written on this blog about consumers using social media and social networking sites to publicize their product liability claim or general dissatisfaction with a particular product. Now it appears manufacturers are turning the tables.

Continue Reading Social Media as a Risk Management Tool?