Consumer Products

Stoel Rives is proud to offer the services of our cross-disciplinary team of nearly 50 consumer products attorneys to retail and consumer product companies from across the United States and abroad. We represent clients of all sizes, from global retailers like Nike and Lithia Motors, to local companies like Chums and Alima Cosmetics. From apparel to electronics, automobiles to household products, grocery stores to online retailers, we provide counsel to consumer product companies on mergers and acquisitions, financing, regulatory compliance, intellectual property and brand management, product liability, product labeling, safety and compliance, cross-border issues, and litigation and other means of resolving disputes.


Our experience is deepest with consumer products clients in these spaces:

  • Apparel, footwear, and accessories
  • Cars and trucks
  • Consumer packaged goods
  • Convenience stores
  • Grocery stores
  • Electronics
  • Games and toys
  • Medical supplies
  • Outdoor accessories
  • Personal care
  • Sporting goods
  • Vitamins and nutritional supplements
  • Wholesale

Our work within the consumer product industry includes:

  • Corporate and transactions
  • eCommerce
  • Intellectual property
  • Advertising and marketing law
  • Labeling and food safety
  • Proposition 65 compliance and defense
  • Licensing and distribution
  • Customs and importation
  • Country and trade sanctions
  • Products liability
  • Litigation, including class actions, consumer fraud, complex commercial litigation, shareholder disputes, and governance litigation

Corporate and Transactions
Stoel Rives’ corporate attorneys provide transactional and contractual support to retailers of all sizes. Our services range from start-up corporate formation, governance and funding through global company M&A strategy, real estate development, debt and equity financing, and creation of multi-state or cross-border contracts and agreements.

As the internet has become central to the success of retail businesses, our eBusiness lawyers strive to stay current on legal trends relevant to those businesses and remain well versed in the myriad legal issues they face. Whether a company is focusing on online communications, targeted marketing, shipping policies, or domain name transactions or disputes, our attorneys have extensive experience in these transactional areas.

Intellectual Property
For more than 30 years, Stoel Rives’ Intellectual Property group has registered, transferred and protected the intellectual property rights and assets of consumer products companies nationally and globally. The experience of the group spans all types of intellectual property including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Our attorneys are as skilled at counseling businesses on how to monetize IP assets as they are at fighting infringement by competitors or defending against claims that threaten your creations and investments.

Advertising and Marketing Law
Our Intellectual Property attorneys also advise sellers of consumers products on the laws relating to advertising and marketing. Our lawyers have expertise in advising clients on requirements of accuracy in advertising, defamation, product disparagement, multi-level marketing, and other critical issues that may arise in the advertising and marketing process.

Labeling and Food Safety
We advise and implement compliance with product packaging and labeling requirements; branding, e-commerce, and marketing law requirements; FDA requirements and investigations involving food-borne illnesses, recalls, and food processing compliance; organics and other certification programs; state and federal pesticide labeling, including under FIFRA; and obligations under various other federal and state laws and regulations.

Proposition 65 Compliance and Defense
We regularly work with companies, testing laboratories, experts, and industry scientists to assist companies with Prop 65 compliance. In addition, we help companies monitor Prop 65 regulations and trends, including proposals by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment to add new chemicals to the Prop 65 list.

Licensing and Distribution
Stoel Rives’ attorneys help consumer products companies market and distribute products domestically and internationally and help with licensing. Increasingly, our clients are acting as both licensors and licensees. The subject matter of these licenses may be a patent, copyright, trade secret, know-how, or trademark, or a combination of various forms of intellectual property. Our attorneys have assisted clients with numerous foreign and domestic joint ventures and strategic alliances.

Customs, Importation, and Trade Sanctions
We help our clients importing good to the U.S., including on:

  • Customs: We assist with applicable customs rules, procedures, and tariffs, and on relations with customs brokers, logistics companies, bonding companies, and other parties involved in importing goods to the U.S.
  • Importation: We represent clients in matters involving the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP).
  • Trade Sanctions: We advise clients on compliance with the U.S. sanctions imposed on countries, governments, entities, and individuals, and administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of Treasury.

Products Liability
Our litigation attorneys represent manufacturers and distributors of consumer and industrial products in cases involving claims of loss or injury due to claimed defects and are able to manage and try products liability cases, including personal-injury and premises-liability cases, throughout the western U.S. and beyond.



  • Represented manufacturer of alcoholic spirits as seller’s counsel on the sale of all its membership interests to U.S. subsidiary of multinational luxury goods conglomerate.
  • Represented sportswear manufacturer in the acquisition of all assets of a manufacturer of men and women’s outdoor equipment and clothing.
  • Represented a pioneering green cleaning-product company, in its acquisition of San Francisco-based Method Products, Inc. The transaction brought together two of the world’s strongest brands in the green and environmentally sustainable cleaning and personal care products industry.
  • Represented fast-food chain in its acquisition by holding company that owns, operates, and franchises fast-casual and full-service restaurant brands.
  • Represented a leading provider of software-defined video solutions for multiscreen content delivery in connection with its 2015 sale to large online retailer.
  • Represented intimate apparel company in its $4 million convertible note financing and in its Series A financing.
  • Represented a mattress company in several financing transactions including a preferred stock financing for over $10 million.

Intellectual Property

  • Represented a leading retailer of mail order gourmet gift baskets in more than 10 cases asserting that competitors’ use of our client’s trademarks as search engine keyword triggers constitutes trademark infringement. Most cases settled, some of which included entry of a judgment enjoining the defendant from further use of our client’s trademarks.
  • Handle all IP and marketing/sales agreements for several start-up and emerging cosmetics brands.
  • Advised and represented a consumer products company in its global brand launch of a new logo in which we coordinated and managed trademark clearance and registration in over 75 jurisdictions.
  • Defended large online retailer against charges of infringement brought by an owner of various patents covering consumer goods. Retailer was accused of violating the plaintiffs’ patent, copyright, trademark, publicity, and competition rights. The cases resulted in claim dismissal, summary judgment, declaratory judgment, and an award of attorneys’ fees and costs in our client’s favor.
  • Defended manufacturer of laptop accessories against infringement claims directed at company’s computer bags, obtaining summary judgment of non-infringement and a unanimous decision from the Federal Circuit affirming that judgment.
  • Provide ongoing representation in patent matters to manufacturer of telescopic sights, red dot sights, spotting scopes, and binoculars.
  • Provide ongoing representation in patent matters and before CFIUS for manufacturer of specialty digital displays.
  • Advise on global trademark matters for one of the world's largest manufacturers of windows and doors and its affiliates.
  • Provide counsel on export compliance for company that develops and licenses atomic layer deposition technology for applications in a wide variety of end uses and markets.

Labor and Employment and Employee Benefits

  • Advised a membership-only warehouse retailer on discrimination and harassment issues and interpreting and applying employment policies and legal requirements for specific personnel decisions. Counseled on appropriate actions to minimize risk of liability.
  • Provide employee benefits advice on retirement plan benefits and executive compensation matters to large Seattle-based consumer cooperative that specializes in outdoor gear and apparel. Regularly consult on plan design and correction issues, including a recent major redesign of executive compensation programs and nonqualified deferred compensation plans.
  • Provide general employment counsel to one of the fastest growing grocery chains in the country for all its operations in Washington, Oregon, and California. Recent challenges have included unionization activity, and disability discrimination, workers’ compensation retaliation, and sick leave discrimination lawsuits.
  • Serve as outside employee benefits counsel to a Canada-based holding company with investments in the automotive, food sales and distribution, media, packaging, magazine distribution, entertainment, export, and financial service industries. With over 33,000 employees, this company has a variety of unique benefits needs, including several separate lines of business that must be analyzed on an annual basis.
  • Represent owner of chain of gas stations on a wide range of employment matters from general counseling and advice to representation in administrative discrimination proceedings to litigation. Represented the company on age, gender, and disability cases before various state administrative agencies, obtaining several dismissals on the grounds that the complaints were without cause.

Litigation and Compliance

  • Represented nationwide automotive retailer in a consumer fraud putative class action alleging financial disclosure issues.
  • Served as lead counsel and responsible for all aspects of litigation for manufacturer of household, health care, and personal care products alleged to have breached contract and misappropriated trade secrets after filing an international patent application regarding certain technology. The court granted summary judgment in favor of the company, and the matter was resolved at mediation after the summary judgment phase.
  • Represented manufacturer of energy drinks in cases involving Attorney Generals in six states alleging that the company’s advertisements violate the states’ consumer protection laws.
  • Represent an Idaho manufacturer of water filters, serving as their nationwide outside general counsel and managing approximately 60 product liability, warranty, and commercial contracting lawsuits and claims across the country, several of which have been successfully resolved and others still currently in litigation.
  • Defended an athletic apparel and equipment company against putative class action alleging the client falsely advertised a “suggested” retail price on outlet garments. Motion to dismiss granted.
  • Achieved a judgment dismissing provider of car-share services in a consumer class action for alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and Washington Consumer Protection Act.
  • Represent the owner of a chain of arts and crafts stores in several matters involving alleged exposure to chemicals listed under California's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (Proposition 65).
  • Represent national hardware chain in various matters involving pesticide labeling of products sold in its stores.

Real Estate, Construction, and Leasing

  • Represent owner of grocery stores in its real estate, leasing, and development needs, handling leasing matters for scores of store sites across the Pacific Northwest as well as handling the development of stores within mixed-use projects. Advised on all aspects of the development and our client’s lease of one such project—a prototype mixed-use residential condominium.
  • Represented owner of a chain of clothing stores in its ongoing real estate portfolio work in connection with its retail and warehouse leases at malls, shopping centers, and industrial sites in the United States and Canada, assisted by local counsel.
  • Represent large retail developer in its development and ownership of retail shopping and related projects throughout Oregon, California, Washington, Idaho, and Utah. Our Construction and Design team drafts and negotiates all forms of design and construction agreements for these significantly complex projects.
  • Represented owner of a chain of clothing stores in its ongoing real estate portfolio work in connection with its retail and warehouse leases at malls.
  • Represented a dairy products company in the lease of its headquarters building in Washington.
  • Represented national developer in connection with the acquisition phase of its new redevelopment project, including design and construction contracts, joint venture agreements, development and infrastructure agreements, and construction financing. The project is a multi-phase, mixed-use project including residential, retail, a large grocery store, and office components.
  • Represented manufacturer of consumer electronics products with a long-term lease agreement for land to be developed for its Utah world headquarters, including drafting and negotiating the lease agreement, development agreement, expansion option agreement, and all other related agreements.
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