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Client Alerts

FCC Enforcement Update – 2013 Year in Review

January 23, 2014

Client Alerts

FCC Enforcement Update – 2013 Year in Review

January 23, 2014

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For Manufacturers, Importers, Distributors and Retailers

 

Regulatory Law - FCC Enforcement
FCC Enforcement Update – 2013 Year in Review
For Manufacturers, Importers, Distributors and Retailers
In 2013, the FCC issued forfeitures, upheld prior forfeitures, and settled enforcement actions through Consent Decrees with a variety of equipment manufacturers and vendors. Effective September 13, 2013, the FCC raised the maximum penalty for most manufacturing compliance issues from $112,500 to $122,500 per single violation. The FCC can find that different violations occurred at the same time (e.g., if multiple models are involved) and assess the penalty per violation, which can result in heavy fines. Manufacturers with compliance issues can face related obstacles, including delayed equipment approvals, contract disputes and lost sales opportunities, and even competitor or consumer lawsuits.Several 2013 violations involved the FCC’s hearing aid compatibility (HAC) rules. TheHAC rules require handset manufacturers to report annually on theirHAC compliance status, so manufacturers should expect that the FCC will identify and pursueHAC violations.The FCC also continued its focus on U-NII devices and digital devices. Violations involving equipment in the music industry, such as amplifiers and mixers, led to some of the year’s largest Consent Decree payments. All concerned parties are reminded that unintentional radiators may be subject to the FCC’s equipment marketing, labeling and related rules.

Fish & Richardson advises RF equipment manufacturers and vendors on complying with the FCC’s marketing rules and technical standards, and navigating enforcement issues when they arise. We maintain an enforcement matrix on our website that is targeted to the equipment rules so manufacturers can follow recent FCC activities. The matrix covers Rule Parts 2, 15, 18, 22, 24, 27, 90 and 95, including Consent Decrees and Notices of Apparent Liability and Forfeiture. The matrix is now current through December 31, 2013.

To learn more, please read our FCC Enforcement Update.

To view a matrix of FCC enforcement activities since 2006, please click here.

For more information on FCC enforcement, please contact:

Terry G. Mahn
Managing Principal
Washington, DC
mahn@fr.com
202-626-6421
Donna Balaguer
Principal
Washington, DC
balaguer@fr.com
202-626-7719
© Copyright 2013 Fish & Richardson P.C. These materials may be considered advertising for legal services under the laws and rules of professional conduct of the jurisdictions in which we practice. The material contained in this newsletter has been gathered by the lawyers at Fish & Richardson P.C. for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. Transmission is not intended to create and receipt does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Legal advice of any nature should be sought from legal counsel. For more information about Fish & Richardson P.C. and our practices, please visit www.fr.com.

 

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