Fred Rocafort

Fred leads Harris Bricken’s intellectual property practice and is the coordinator of the firm’s international team. Much of Fred’s practice consists of helping cannabis businesses protect their brands. He also works with entrepreneurs and companies entering the Web3 space, a new frontier for IP law. Prior to joining Harris Bricken, Fred worked overseas for more than a decade, in both government and private sector roles. Fred is a regular contributor to the award-winning China Law Blog and Canna Law Blog.

Fred began his career overseas as a U.S. consular officer in Guangzhou, China, where he advocated for fairer treatment of American companies and citizens in China and for stronger intellectual property rights enforcement. After entering the private sector, Fred worked at a Shanghai law firm as a foreign legal advisor and later joined one of the oldest American law firms in China, helping foreign companies navigate the Chinese legal environment. He also led the legal team at a Hong Kong-based brand protection consultancy, spending most of his time out in the field, protecting clients against counterfeiters and fraudsters in Greater China, Southeast Asia and Latin America.

In addition to his IP work, as a native Spanish speaker, Fred works closely with different Harris Bricken teams on Latin America and Spain matters. Fred also provides advice to cannabis industry participants and other businesses on import and export transactions.

Fred is an ardent supporter of FC Barcelona—and would be even in the absence of Catalan forebears who immigrated to Puerto Rico in the mid-1800s.

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Federal or State Trademark Registrations?

Federal or state trademarks, which should I register? This is a question we regularly get in our IP practice. For cannabis brands in particular, the answer is often straightforward. The lawful use requirement The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is responsible for registering trademarks at the federal level. According to the Trademark Act

brazil cannabis

Brazil’s Elections and Cannabis

Brazil’s elections recently took place, with Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva voted into a third term as Brazil’s president. To learn what the results mean for cannabis, we sat down with Rafael Arcuri of Brazil’s National Association of Industrial Hemp (ANC). While some challenges lie ahead, overall Lula’s return to power augurs well for cannabis

colombian cannabis

Colombian Cannabis Legalization Ahead

Colombian legalization of adult-use cannabis is on track, following the Chamber of Representatives’ overwhelming vote of support for a bill introduced by a multiparty group led by Liberal Party deputy Juan Carlos Losada. Back in June we held out some cautious optimism regarding Colombian legalization prospects, following the election of Gustavo Petro as president. As

hemp cbd novel food european union

Cannabis and Novel Food Authorizations in the EU: Q&A

We recently got to ask Kai-Friedrich Niermann of KFN+ Law Office some questions about EU Novel Food authorizations. His answers are a must-read for cannabis food businesses interested in the EU market. 1. What is an EU Novel Food authorization? Novel foods are regulated in the European Union by the so-called Novel Food Regulation (Regulation

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Biden’s Bad Example

President Biden’s recent announcement of a pardon for federal cannabis offenses has caught the attention of observers abroad. In fact, I was quoted in an article by Brazilian journalist Anita Krepp on the subject. Unfortunately, the example being set by Biden for other countries is, in part, a bad one. To be clear, we are

czech cannabis legalization

Czech It Out: Cannabis Legalization Trend Continues in Europe

Czechia, officially known as the Czech Republic, may soon the join the growing list of European countries with legal adult-use cannabis. Czech National Anti-Drug Coordinator Jindřich Vobořil is drafting the requisite legislation, which could be in place by 2024. As to what the new law might look like: The new measures should establish the level

panama medical cannabis

Panama Issues Medical Cannabis Regs

Panama has adopted medical cannabis regulations, after becoming the first Central American country to legalize medical cannabis in October 2021, pursuant to Law 242. The regulations take the form of a decree issued by President Laurentino Cortizo Cohen, which “regulates the use and access to the product and its derivatives, for therapeutic, medical, veterinary, scientific

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The U.S. Constitution and Drug Paraphernalia

The U.S. Constitution gives Congress certain enumerated powers (Article I, Section 8), with powers “not delegated to the [federal government] by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people” (Tenth Amendment). While one of the enumerated powers is the regulation of interstate commerce, the

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Tobacco Paraphernalia? Prove It.

Tobacco paraphernalia is in many cases indistinguishable from cannabis paraphernalia, especially when products are unconnected to specific consumers. If an item can be used in both lawful and unlawful ways, it seems illogical to classify it as drug paraphernalia, unless the item is connected to illegal activity. Yet the approach of the U.S. federal authorities

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Deceptive Matter and Canna Brands

Deceptive matter is yet another pitfall faced by canna brands as they take steps to protect their intellectual property. According to the U.S. Trademark Act (commonly known as the Lanham Act), such matter may not be registered as a trademark (15 U.S.C. § 1052(a)). While to some extent this is a commonsense rule that seeks