Social media influencers have become one of the most effective channels for companies to reach and engage with their target market online. So far in 2017, marketers have spent over $1 billion to have influencers post Instagram photos marketing their products. Last year, marketers spent $576 million. Because of the increased popularity with this new form of marketing, the FTC has begun to crack down on these influencers and the companies using the influencers to market their products online.
In late June, Senators Coons, Cotton, Durbin, and Hirono introduced the STRONGER Patents Act of 2017. The Act includes provisions that seek to heavily change the inter partes review and post-grant review processes. However, Sec. 108, which focuses on patent infringement, is the portion that may have the largest effect on hurting domestic manufacturing companies relative to their foreign counterparts.
A new tax incentive program targeting large job providers passed the Michigan legislature last week with bi-partisan support, and is expected to be signed soon by Governor Rick Snyder, who strongly supported the legislation. The “Good Jobs for Michigan” program will bolster Michigan’s economic development toolkit, allowing it to better compete with other states for major business relocation and expansion projects. Several business groups including Business Leaders for Michigan pushed the measure, which combined with Michigan’s prior tax reforms, adoption of Right to Work legislation and regulatory reinvention, will elevate the State in the eyes of site selectors and companies considering new facilities or expansions.
Facing the traditional energy sector’s uncertain future and the decreased cost of producing renewable energy, many companies have taken to generating their own power. Manufacturers may be in an ideal position to do the same through “net metering.” Some companies, including giants such as Google and Apple, have been so successful generating their own power that they sell excess energy back to the grid. In considering such practices, manufacturers need to weigh the costs and benefits and monitor local legislative agendas.
As employers, manufacturers are aware of their responsibility for knowing the safety standards applicable to their businesses. But many do not understand their rights and obligations during the inspection process. In recent years, after adding more than 100 compliance officers, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act) has been increasing the number of inspections, citations, and litigation it undertakes. The following tips should help you properly handle OSHA inspections.