When you’re getting a product ready to launch, dotting every I and crossing every T is crucial so you know your product and your company is following the right steps to success (and is compliant with the law). Having the right help navigating each step of preparing and maintaining your brand for retail can ease the process especially when it comes to legalities. Legal services can be the help you need, and while lawyering up sounds a little intense, it doesn’t have to be. Here are some common scenarios you might cross in the retail industry, where finding and following legal advice would be beneficial for your brand.
1. Commercial Agreements
When two companies are working together, and each agrees to do—or not to do—something, it’s considered a commercial agreement. It’s also a legally binding contract (which can be verbal, written, or even implied) and should involve a lawyer who can help your company create and review the business agreements between parties, including suppliers and third parties such as retailers, distributors, or contract manufacturers.
2. FDA Compliance
CPG encompasses a wide range of products, and the ingredients that go into those products are more often than not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Employing legal providers who specialize in compliance means getting legal advice and assistance with fulfilling FDA requirements, which can include labeling review, ingredient review, or product registration for FDA-regulated products, such as food and beverages, medical devices, drugs, cosmetics, electronics, and tobacco.
3. Patent Registration
When you’ve got an idea for a hot product with information or technology that you and you alone created, the last thing you want is another party to take that information and use it for their own gain—especially without crediting you, the inventor. Patent registration services will help protect and enforce intellectual property associated with consumer products, and ensure that no one is profiting off of you illegally.
4. Prop 65 Compliance
In November 1986, California passed the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, aka Prop 65, which protects the drinking water from known cancer-causing chemicals, and chemicals that can cause birth defects or reproductive harm. What’s more, businesses are required to inform Californians about exposures to such chemicals in their products. While consumers ultimately can decide on their own if they want to purchase a product that comes with such warnings, brands need to comply with this California law. Legal providers who specialize in Prop 65 compliance can help ensure suppliers are doing everything that’s needed to best protect themselves and their consumers.
5. Trademark Registration
Your brand is your everything, and how and when your logos, mascots, or taglines are used is up to you. Or at least it should be. Preventing people from using your brand identity without your permission is a big deal in this age of the Internet, which is why registering your trademark is imperative to protect your business and your brand. Legal providers can help with the protection and enforcement of your brand identity.
*Special Highlight: Cannabis Law
A year ago, legal advice on how to maintain compliance with state and federal law for cannabis-derived products probably wouldn’t have been a thing. However, in today’s CPG world, THC and CBD products are dominating the space. Navigating the waters of cannabis CPG products isn’t for the novice supplier which is why more and more legal providers are specializing in and providing cannabis suppliers with what’s needed to be compliant with the law, and advice on launching new cannabis-derived products into new and existing markets.
Running a company requires help on various levels, but particularly when it comes to what you can and can’t do, and the ramifications of those actions on your own company as well as others are important to understand. Legal services can vary by specialty, so it’s important to check with your representation that they have the right knowledge you need for your specific situation.
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