Online and Multichannel Marketing

The extent of Brann & Isaacson’s experience in representing online, catalog, and multichannel retailers rests on a fifty–year tradition of providing legal advice to some of the most recognized retailers and other companies in the country. What began as a relationship with L.L. Bean, Inc. in the 1960s has grown to a nationally recognized practice representing more than 100 online and multichannel companies, and Internet and IT service providers, including over a dozen of the Top 100 Internet retailers, in front of state and federal agencies, state and federal trial courts, state supreme courts, and the United States Supreme Court.  Many of Brann & Isaacson’s clients have stores throughout the United States and vibrant Internet businesses as well, and they come to Brann & Isaacson for advice on navigating the multi–faceted, multi–state and federal legal issues they increasingly confront. Whether the task is negotiating printing and software agreements, complying with changing privacy laws, handling FTC or state attorneys general investigations, defending class action and intellectual property lawsuits, or challenging state tax assessments, Brann & Isaacson has become the boutique “go to” firm for the industry.

Brann & Isaacson stands at the forefront of the battle to protect online companies and multichannel retailers, as well as Internet and IT service providers, against excessive taxation by states and local jurisdictions across the country. We have represented the defendants in all phases of South Dakota v. Wayfair, the most significant state tax case to reach the U.S. Supreme Court in decades. We challenged so–called “Amazon tax” statutes in Colorado and Illinois that sought to impose tax or reporting obligations on remote sellers, and are currently challenging the laws or regulations of Indiana, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Wyoming.  Our firm is also first in line in the battle against Ohio’s Commercial Activity Tax, which constitutes an attempt by the state to circumvent the “physical presence” requirement that has long been the constitutional benchmark for state taxation of interstate commerce.  We have also handled audits and assessments of some of the leading providers of Internet services and other information technology services.  CLICK HERE to find more details about our state tax practice. 

In the modern online marketplace, vast amounts of information, both personalized and anonymous, are collected, analyzed, transferred, and shared using a variety of technologies. Keeping abreast of the latest privacy law developments is more critical than ever.

Given the national, even international, scope of your customer base, it is necessary to keep an eye not just on privacy developments in federal law, but state and international requirements as well. The risk is not just from regulators. Increasingly, class action lawyers are attacking direct marketers and their service providers for alleged privacy and information security violations, including in states where the potential recovery can be thousands of dollars for each violation, and total amounts sought can be staggering.  Brann & Isaacson can provide solid and sensible advice in an area where risk exists even for companies complying in good faith with the letter of the law.

Brann & Isaacson’s longstanding client relationships with major online companies and multichannel retailers give the firm a leading role as the industry wrestles with the extraordinary challenges of privacy and security in an increasingly wired and wireless world. The firm’s experience ranges from advising clients on arcane credit card laws (including PCI compliance) to the development of data breach audit and response plans. We guide businesses through the drafting and implementation of privacy policies and written information security plans (WISPs), including conducting detailed audits of client’s privacy and security policies and practices.

We also represent companies in privacy–related investigations and litigation, including class action lawsuits under complex federal and state laws. Our team of litigators can hit the ground running based on years of experience representing sellers and service providers.

CLICK HERE for our most recent client alert on Privacy in the Crosshairs.

Brann & Isaacson offers our clients a two–pronged approach on intellectual property.  First, we handle patent, trademark, trade dress, and copyright cases in courts across the country. We have developed a nationally recognized practice representing online and multichannel retailers of all sizes against “patent trolls” that seek to cripple companies through the threat of endless patent litigation and costly licensing arrangements.  Second, we help clients develop and protect their valuable trademarks and copyrights through a comprehensive program that searches a wide array of databases. We register trademarks both in this country and around the world, and we defend our clients’ intellectual property rights against challenges from competitors and other third parties before the USPTO and federal courts. CLICK HERE for more details about our intellectual property practice. 

Online and multichannel retailers face aggressive state and federal enforcement of product safety and recall laws.  Brann & Isaacson has extensive experience in assisting clients in developing safety compliance programs, managing the process of reporting potential product hazards to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and representing companies in CPSC investigations and proceedings.  The firm conducts audits of our clients’ product safety practices from initial product development its forming alliances with testing firms to incorporating protective provisions in vendor agreements. Well–established safety protocols are the first line of defense against recall claims and class action lawsuits.

We also assist clients in the area of unclaimed property, working closely with them to review and quantify their risks, and, where necessary, to develop comprehensive strategies for minimizing those risks and negotiating voluntary disclosure agreements and settlements with state agencies.

Brann & Isaacson has helped clients make the leap to an international marketplace, whether online or through retail stores—including negotiating strategic alliances with overseas business partners and service providers. Our firm assists its clients in securing international protection for their trademarks, resolving customs issues, and complying with Canadian, European Union, and other nations’ product safety, privacy, and trade issues, and, where appropriate, securing the assistance of foreign legal counsel.

A national reputation has enabled Brann & Isaacson to concentrate on issues of importance to online and multichannel marketers. Our attorneys have published numerous articles in trade journals and professional publications, and frequently speak before groups and organizations such as the Direct Marketing Association, the Promotional Marketing Association, the National Catalog Operations Forum, the American Catalog Mailers Association, the Committee on State Taxation, the New York Society of Certified Public Accountants, the Institute for Professionals in Taxation, the New England Mail Order Association, and the Multistate Tax Commission. They have lectured at Harvard Law School, the University of Connecticut Law School, the University of Southern California Law School, and the Darden School of Business of the University of Virginia. They have also testified on tax and Internet policy issues before congressional committees and state government study commissions.

Our clients include companies such as  L.L. Bean, Talbots, Computer Sciences Corporation, Newegg,, Wayfair, Apple, Mason Shoe, Colony Brands (The Swiss Colony), EarthLink, Scholastic, Guthy–Renker, Vermont Country Store, Random House, Bertelsmann Inc., Crutchfield, National Business Furniture, Christian Books, Guitar Center, Oriental Trading, The Danbury Mint, Frontgate, Gardener’s Supply Company, OpticsPlanet, Potpourri Gifts, Starcrest of California, The Reader’s Digest Association, TravelSmith, Vermont Teddy Bear, iRobot, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, King Arthur Flour, Orchard Brands, Johnny Appleseeds, Haband, and Bookspan, as well as trade associations including the Data & Marketing Association, the American Catalog Mailers Association, the New England Mail Order Association, and NetChoice.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email