Benjamin Stein joined InfoLawGroup as Counsel in April 2013. Ben’s practice focuses on advertising, promotions, intellectual-property, and privacy matters. Ben works with clients to advise on the development, implementation, and administration of their advertising and promotional campaigns, as well as on traditional and emerging issues related to intellectual property.
Prior to joining InfoLawGroup, Ben was an associate in the Intellectual Property Group of Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP (formerly Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon LLP). During law school, Ben interned for Lambda Legal, where he worked on litigation challenging Iowa’s prohibition on same-sex marriage.
Advertising, Marketing & Promotions
E-commerce & Technology
Trademarks, Copyrights, & Rights of Publicity
Privacy & Information Management
• Counseling on issues related to advertising and promotional campaigns, including drafting promotion rules and advising on compliance with applicable laws and platform guidelines;
• Advising on privacy issues, including those related to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act;
• Drafting and negotiating agreements in a wide variety of transactions, including consumer-facing and vendor/supplier agreements related to e-commerce and content- and technology-licensing agreements;
• Counseling clients on domestic and foreign trademark matters, including selection, prosecution, maintenance, and enforcement of trademarks and the protection and enforcement of copyrights; and
• Advising clients on state and federal laws regulating gift cards and other stored-value devices.
University of Michigan, J.D. 2010 (cum laude)
University of Michigan, B.A. 2005, English Language & Literature
Presentations & Publications
“Protecting Trademarks Against the Counterfeiting Threat” (co-author), World Trademark Review, Issue 36, April/May 2012.
International Association of Privacy Professionals
Last week, the New York Attorney General’s Office announced that it had entered into a settlement with privacy compliance company TRUSTe, signaling the AG’s continuing interest in children’s privacy and potentially portending an uptick in state-level enforcement under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”). TRUSTe operates an FTC-approved safe-harbor program for online services subject to … Continue Reading
The Copyright Office recently introduced changes to the process by which online service providers can designate an agent under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”). To qualify for DMCA safe-harbor protections, service providers are required to maintain with the Copyright Office contact information for an agent designated to receive takedown notices. The changes, which go into effect … Continue Reading
The FTC announced today that it reached a settlement with mobile ad network InMobi. InMobi offers a software-development kit (SDK) that its third-party app-developer customers can integrate into their mobile applications. The SDK allows InMobi to target advertisements to app users based on data collected and allows the app developer to thereby better monetize its advertising … Continue Reading
While the swell of class-action lawsuits based on retail price-advertising practices continues to build daily (particularly in California), retailers should note an interesting development from last week in a case out of Massachusetts. In that case, Mulder v. Kohl’s Department Stores, Inc. [FN 1], the plaintiff alleged a number of claims that centered around Kohl’s … Continue Reading
This week, the FTC announced settlements with two developers of children’s apps that it claimed had failed to comply the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”). While any COPPA enforcement by the FTC is noteworthy, these cases are particularly interesting in that they are the FTC’s first COPPA enforcement actions that are based on allegations that a child-directed online service … Continue Reading
This past August, Dave & Buster’s, the restaurant-cum-arcade chain, was sued in California state court for allegedly violating the cash-out provision of California’s gift-card law.[FN1] Under California’s law, a gift-card issuer must allow the holder of a card worth less than $10 to redeem it for cash upon request.[FN2] In the suit, plaintiff alleges that … Continue Reading
A purported class action lawsuit was recently filed against meal-delivery service Blue Apron based on its alleged failure to satisfy the requirements of California’s law regulating automatic-renewal provisions in consumer contracts (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17600 et seq.). The case, C.D. Cal. No. 2:15-cv-05521, was filed in June 2015 and removed to federal … Continue Reading
The FTC recently updated its published guidance on the use of endorsements in advertising. In 2009, the FTC revised its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (“Endorsement Guides”). Following the release of the Endorsement Guides, the FTC issued an informal FAQ in June 2010 to answer some of the most frequently … Continue Reading
As noted in our earlier post, the Better Business Bureau recently updated its Code of Advertising for the first time since 1985. There are many changes throughout the Code, from major substantive additions to minor revisions to layout and formatting tweaks. In this post, we highlight some of the more significant changes.… Continue Reading
On Thursday, the Better Business Bureau announced that it has made large-scale revisions to its self-described “cornerstone product,” the BBB Code of Advertising. The Code imposes self-regulatory obligations on all entities who advertise in North America. It is enforced at the local level by the BBB’s 112 local offices throughout US and Canada and, for … Continue Reading
Last month, the Federal Trade Commission brought a pair of actions under the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (“ROSCA”) – the first of their kind. ROSCA Generally ROSCA (15 U.S.C. 8401 et seq.) was signed into law just before the end of 2010. In general, the law regulates two types of online transaction: sales using … Continue Reading
Last month, music label Ultra Records and its publisher, Ultra International Music Publishing (referred to generally in this post as “Ultra”), sued popular YouTube video blogger Michelle Phan for copyright infringement. Ultra is a popular dance-music label and its roster of artists includes Kaskade, deadmau5, and Late Night Alumni. Ms. Phan is a YouTube sensation … Continue Reading
Last month, actress Katherin Heigl sued pharmacy chain Duane Reade for, among other things, violating her right of publicity. (See our previous coverage on the right of publicity here and here.) The suit arises out of Duane Reade’s statements about and use of a photograph of Ms. Heigl holding its shopping bags via Twitter and … Continue Reading
Administering a sweepstakes or contest online can be a great way to attract traffic and engage with consumers. Not surprisingly, many companies routinely utilize sweepstakes and contests (which are referenced collectively in this article as “promotions”) as part of their overall online marketing push. Administering promotions, however, can get complicated when operating them on third-party … Continue Reading
Last month, the Federal Trade Commission approved a final consent order settling charges it had brought against manufacturer E.K. Ekcessories, Inc. (“EK”) of Logan, Utah, regarding that company’s use of US-origin claims about its products. EK manufactures a variety of consumer products, including iPhone cases, eyewear retainers, bottle holders, and dog collars. In advertising its … Continue Reading
Last week, New York’s Attorney General’s Office announced that it had entered into settlements with nineteen companies, totaling more than $350,000 in fines, based on those companies’ involvement in producing fake online reviews for businesses around the state. Though the conduct at issue in this case appears particularly egregious, the settlements serve as an important … Continue Reading
Earlier this year, actors Bradley Cooper and Liam Neeson filed a lawsuit against Vutec Corporation and First Impressions Theme Theatres, Inc., both Florida-based companies specializing in home-theater equipment. Mr. Cooper and Mr. Neeson allege that the defendants used images of the actors, without permission, in advertisements for defendants’ products. A copy of the complaint is … Continue Reading