Fred Rocafort

Fred is a former diplomat who joined Harris Bricken after more than a decade of international legal experience, primarily in China, Vietnam, and Thailand. His wide range of experience includes starting and operating his own business in Asia, working as an in-house counsel for a Hong Kong-based multinational, as well as many years as a State Department official, providing a client-centric perspective to his legal work. Fred co-hosts Harris Bricken’s weekly Global Law and Business podcast, which covers legal and economic developments in locales around the world to decipher global trends in law and business with the help from international guests.

costa rica medical cannabis hemp

Costa Rica’s Hemp and Medical Cannabis Bill Stalls

Costa Rica’s proposed hemp and medical cannabis law was passed by the Legislative Assembly on January 13, after a 29-10 vote. But what should have been a landmark accomplishment for cannabis legalization in the region has been overshadowed by President Carlos Alvarado’s refusal to sign Bill No. 21388 into law. According to President Alvarado, there

puerto rico cannabis marijuana

Cannabis Can Help Puerto Rico’s Economy Recover

Puerto Rico has taken an important step on the road to economic recovery, with the approval by a federal judge of “the largest municipal debt restructuring in U.S. history.” As the island looks for a fresh start, it should adopt a forward-thinking legal framework that allows it to harness the vast economic opportunities presented by

spotify cannabis trademark potify

Spotify Smokes Potify

Spotify AB (“Spotify”) has prevailed in two opposition proceedings it brought against the registrations of two POTIFY marks, which were applied for by U.S. Software Inc. (“U.S. Software”), in connection to its Potify platform. According to U.S. Software, Potify is “a backend software platform designed for legal marijuana dispensaries to market and sell their products.”

cannabis trademark basics

Cannabis Trademarks: Don’t Forget the Basics!

The registration of cannabis trademarks in the United States raises novel issues. This is an unsurprising result of the uneasy coexistence between expanding legality at the state level, and ongoing prohibition at the federal level. Cannabis businesses need to keep these issues on their radar when crafting brand strategies. At the same time, however, they

cannabis companies internet

Cannabis Businesses: Beware of the Internet

Across practices, we are seeing the internet turn into a menace for businesses dealing with law enforcement and regulatory agencies. Risks are present for entities of all stripes, but cannabis businesses in particular need to beware of the Internet and what it says about them. If the Internet says so, it must be drug paraphernalia

malta cannabis marijuana

In EU First, Legal Cannabis in Malta

With the approval of the Authority on the Responsible Use of Cannabis Act (the “Act“), legal cannabis in Malta has arrived. The Mediterranean island nation is the first in the European Union to legalize adult-use cannabis. Medical cannabis has been legal in Malta since 2018. 1. What Is Now Legal? The Act permits the cultivation of up

chile cannabis marijuana

Chile’s Presidential Elections: A Win-Win for Cannabis (Sorta …)

Chile’s presidential elections are heading to a second round. We’re paying attention for many reasons, not least the fact that the results will have significant implications for cannabis policy, not just in Chile, but in all of Latin America. The winner of the first round was José Antonio Kast, who eked out a victory over

florida psychedelics decriminalize

Despite Initial Setback, Florida Lawmakers Remain Intent on Psychedelics Reform

In April of this year, Florida’s first attempt at psychedelics reform failed, as a House subcommittee rejected HB 549. This bill, introduced by Rep. Michael Grieco (D-Miami Beach), would have legalized the use of psilocybin for mental treatment in the nation’s third most populous state. Despite this setback, 2021 could yet be a pivotal year

trademark psychedelics psilocybin

Trademarking Psychedelics

Can companies in the psychedelic space register their trademarks, for psychedelics themselves? This is a question that often comes up, given U.S. trademark law’s requirement that marks be lawfully used in commerce as a precondition to registration. In recent times, many trademark applications filed by cannabis businesses have been refused on lawful-use grounds, though this

Brazil Cannabis Trademark

Legal But Immoral? On the Denial of Cannabis Trademark Applications in Brazil

Rafael Arcuri, Henrique Coelho, and Marcelo De Vita Greco just penned a great article in Consultor Jurídico on the denials by the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) of applications to register cannabis trademark on the grounds that they offend morality and good customs. The basis for these denials is Article 124(III) of Brazil’s Industrial