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.
China’s AML Increases Regulatory Oversight
For international businesses, the takeaways should be clear. First, the trend of increasing oversight of business activities by the Chinese authorities continues. As readers of this blog will have noted, this is a recurring theme in much recent Chinese legislation, even that coming out of the special administrative regions, such as Macau's new gaming law. Second, engaging in monopolistic practices in China is now a riskier endeavor, with increased penalties for companies and personal liabilities for responsible officers. When dealing with competitors and trading partners, businesses must beware the AML and give it a wide berth to any activity that could be construed as a monopolistic practice.
Macau’s New Gaming Law
Macau has a new gaming law as of June 21, 2022. On that day, Macau’s Legislative Assembly approved Law No. 7/2022, which amends a 2001 law. While the legal framework for gambling remains fundamentally unchanged, the amended law offers a hint of what is to come, not just for Macau’s casinos, but for Macau itself.
Manolo Blahnik: A Cautionary Tale
Back in the day, China strictly adhered to the first-to-file principle when it came to trademarks, meaning that whoever won the race to the registrar got the trademark, without regard to prior use of same. In the intervening years, however, China has moved in a more equitable direction, particularly in instances where the first filer is acting in bad faith.
Dealing with China Trademark Deadwood: Expungement and Reexamination Proceedings
How to handle a China trademark expungement and reexamination action.
China Similar Trademarks: What to Do?
When applying to register trademarks in China, it is not uncommon for brands to have their applications denied because of a similar trademark that has a prior right. This prior right may be an existing registration, or a pending application to register that was filed at an earlier date than yours. What to do if your brand finds itself in that situation?
Is There a Squatter on My China Trademark and if There is What Should I Do?
A number of Chinese trademark law firms have of late been trying to drum up American clients on China trademark matters. I say this because my firm's China trademark lawyers have been getting a steady stream of emails from U.S. lawyers and companies contacted by these Chinese trademark law firms. The Chinese law firms are writing to U.S. lawyers and companies to alert them of trademark filings in China of the same trademarks owned by the company in the United States. These emails from the Chinese trademark attorneys to U.S. trademark attorneys usually go as follows: