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Do you manufacture, import, or market personal hygiene and wellness devices sold in drugstores? If so, you may be focused on U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) compliance, but may not have considered the requirements of another Federal regulatory agency: the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Manufacturing, importing, and/or marketing non-compliant personal hygiene, wellness and similar devices may violate the FCC’s rules.
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FAA Announces New UAS (Drone) Marking Rule

February 14, 2019 | Alert | By Laura Stefani, Jonathan R. Markman

This article covers an immediate FAA rule change requiring markings for small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS, commonly known as drones). Beginning February 25, 2019, every UAS must have its registration number displayed and visible on the external surface of the aircraft.
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FAA Announces Draft Proposals for the UAS (Drone) Industry

January 17, 2019 | Alert | By Laura Stefani, Jonathan R. Markman

Read about two FAA draft proposals concerning the commercial operations of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems, or drones, and how they could impact the industry and how drones are used.
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Congress Directs the FAA to Modify Drone Rules

October 8, 2018 | Alert | By Laura Stefani, Jonathan R. Markman

This alert provides a list of 10 important new directives to the FAA that should soon allow drones to be used for a broader array of commercial operations, including package deliveries, and hasten the integration of UAS into national airspace.

TCPA Regulatory Update: FCC Evaluates Comments Received in Several TCPA Proceedings

July 18, 2018 | Article | By Russell Fox, Radhika Bhat, Elana Safner

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) is busy evaluating scores of comments and reply comments it received in several ongoing TCPA proceedings in the past month.
After the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia released its highly anticipated decision in ACA International v. Federal Communications Commission, courts have been addressing issues raised in that case. We previously summarized the opinion — which raises four issues, one of which is what constitutes an Automatic Telephone Dialing System (“ATDS”).

TCPA Regulatory Update: FCC Reevaluates TCPA Rulings and Seeks Comment on Several Petitions

June 11, 2018 | Article | By Russell Fox, Radhika Bhat, Elana Safner

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) is reconsidering several issues central to TCPA liability, including what equipment constitutes an automatic telephone dialing system ((“ATDS”) and who the “called party” is when a wireless number has been reassigned.

TCPA Regulatory Update: FCC Levies Historic Fine against Robocaller for Malicious Spoofing

June 11, 2018 | Article | By Russell Fox, Radhika Bhat, Elana Safner

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) is reconsidering several issues central to TCPA liability, including what equipment constitutes an automatic telephone dialing system ((“ATDS”) and who the “called party” is when a wireless number has been reassigned.
Our previous post discussed the decision in Marshall v. CBE Group, Inc., which completely rejected the FCC’s broad interpretation of an ATDS and found in favor of the defendant. Since then, another district court in the Ninth Circuit has followed suit, but three others in the Eleventh Circuit have concluded that the FCC’s 2003 Order survives ACA Int’l. It could behoove some TCPA defendants to seek stays while this circuit split is sorted out or until after the FCC clarifies its position on the ATDS issue following ACA Int’l.

TCPA Regulatory Update: Second FNPRM Comment Deadline Set

May 14, 2018 | Article | By Russell Fox, Elana Safner

Comments on the FCC’s Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) are due on June 7, and replies are due by July 9. The second FNPRM was adopted at the March Commission Meeting and seeks input on the adoption of a reassigned numbers database that businesses could check to avoid making unwanted calls to a new subscriber whose number was previously assigned to a consumer who had consented to receiving their calls.

TCPA Regulatory Update: Notable Filings

May 14, 2018 | Article | By Russell Fox, Elana Safner

On May 3, the Peer-to-Peer Alliance (P2P Alliance) filed a Petition for Clarification asking the FCC to clarify that P2P text messages to mobile numbers are not subject to TCPA restrictions. It explained that P2P messaging is often used by universities, nonprofits, businesses, and political organizations to communicate with individuals with whom they already have a relationship.
On April 23, the FCC and FTC hosted a joint expo aimed at stopping illegal robocalls through technological solutions. The expo showcased innovative technologies, devices, and applications that minimize or eliminate the number of illegal robocalls consumers receive. The expo was held one month after the FCC and FTC’s Joint Policy Forum on fighting illegal robocalls, and in between the Senate Commerce and House Energy & Commerce Committee hearings on the same topic.
As we wrote in a previous post, on March 16, 2018 the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit released its highly anticipated decision in ACA International v. Federal Communications Commission. Among other things, the DC Circuit set aside the Commission’s explanation of which devices qualified as Automatic Telephone Dialing Systems under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Though the decision has been out for less than two months, courts in the Ninth Circuit have taken notice.

TCPA Regulatory Update: NANC Presents Call Authentication Report to FCC

May 14, 2018 | Article | By Russell Fox, Elana Safner

The North American Numbering Council (NANC), a federal advisory committee established by the FCC, delivered a call authentication report to the FCC on May 3. The report was developed by the Call Authentication Trust Anchor Working Group (CATA WG) and approved by NANC on April 27. It “details a framework for call authentication that can more quickly be established than various alternatives, while obtaining the broadest participation of industry.”

TCPA Legislative Update: House and Senate Hold Hearings on Illegal Robocalls

May 14, 2018 | Article | By Alexander Hecht, Jennifer Lynn Kelly

Every month, robocalls make up the majority of Do Not Call registry complaints at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FCC estimated that in March 2018 approximately 3 billion robocalls were placed. In an effort to combat these illegal robocalls, the Senate Commerce Committee and the House Energy & Commerce Committee each held a hearing regarding these illegal robocalls and asked witnesses for ideas on how to combat this rampant problem.

Proposal for FCC Rules for UAS Command and Control Spectrum

May 2, 2018 | Alert | By Laura Stefani

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking public comment on a proposal by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) to adopt service rules for the use of 5030-5091 MHz by small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS). 

FCC to Facilitate Deployment of Small Satellites

May 1, 2018 | Advisory | By Laura Stefani

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed adding an innovative regulatory regime to Part 25 of its rules to enable deployment of small satellite systems. The proposal is aimed at NGSO-like small satellite systems engaged in small-scale operations using spacecraft with short life expectancies.

TCPA Regulatory Update: Commission Releases and Actions

April 18, 2018 | Article | By Russell Fox, Elana Safner

On March 22, 2018, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) proposing the creation of a reassigned numbers database. Under the proposed rules, the FCC will ensure that a database is available to provide callers with the timely and comprehensive information they need to avoid calling reassigned numbers. The FNPRM also seeks comment on the kind of information that callers need from such a database, the best way for service providers to report this information, and whether the FCC should adopt a safe harbor from TCPA liability for callers who check the database.
Roughly around this time last year, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court, 137 S. Ct. 1773 (2017), wherein the Court rejected the California Supreme Court’s finding of specific jurisdiction over mass tort claims filed by nonresidents.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s Spokeo v. Robins decision held that plaintiffs do not have standing to sue under Article III based solely on technical violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Ever since the Supreme Court’s 2016 decision in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1536, defendants have filed motions to dismiss putative TCPA class actions for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.
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