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.

canna law on the internet

Half-Truths and Canna Law on the Internet

When it comes to canna law on the internet, half-truths might be a bigger problem than outright lies or mistakes. Recently, our sister China Law Blog declared that China Law on the Internet Is All Wrong. As a lawyer who spends a lot of time working on China-related matters, I can confirm that there is

free speech cannabis trademark

Free Speech and Cannabis Brands

Could the First Amendment’s free speech protections offer a lifeline to cannabis brands hauled into court for trademark infringement for using parody trademarks? In some cases, it might. For readers unfamiliar with the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, it reads: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free

colombia cannabis foreign trade regulations

Colombia Issues New Cannabis Foreign Trade Regulations

Colombia has issued regulations on the import and export of cannabis products. Joint Resolution 539, issued in concert by four Colombian ministries on April 1, 2022, follows up on Decree 811 from last July, which expanded the scope of legal activities involving cannabis. The regulations specify which approvals are needed to import or export different

cannabis patent

Cannabis Patents Q&A

It should come as no surprise that the number of applications for cannabis patents has been steadily increasing in recent years. In this post we discuss the basics of the subject, with a focus in the United States. While patent systems usually bear some similarities, some of the details may be different in other countries.

puerto rico cannabis marijuana

Opposition to Cannabis in Puerto Rico: Uninformed

During a recent interview, Puerto Rico Sen. Joanne Rodríguez Veve (of the conservative Proyecto Dignidad) expressed her misgivings about the legalization of adult-use cannabis. As I have made clear before on this blog, Puerto Rico’s failure to fully legalize cannabis strikes me as dreadfully self-defeating. At a time when the island is in dire need

cannabis trademark use in commerce

Cannabis Trademarks: Is the Lawful Use Requirement Even Lawful?

Is the lawful use requirement for trademarks lawful? In a recent Vanderbilt Law Review article, Robert A. Mikos compellingly argues that it is not. The article is a must-read for anyone interested in the topic of cannabis trademarks, but highlights a problem that goes far beyond cannabis, and indeed trademark law. For those unfamiliar with

international travel cannabis marijuana

Do Not Travel with Cannabis Products

The recent arrest in Russia of WNBA player Brittney Griner highlights the perils of traveling with cannabis products. For those not familiar with the matter, Griner was detained after Russian Customs “allegedly found vape cartridges containing cannabis in her luggage.” At the onset, it must be noted that Griner’s arrest comes at a time of

Cannabis Trademarks After Federal Legalization

Cannabis Trademarks After Federal Legalization

What will happen with cannabis trademarks after federal legalization? This question comes up regularly, but unfortunately lacks a clear answer (or even an unclear answer). On the one hand, with cannabis no longer unlawful at the federal level, USPTO will be able to register trademarks for cannabis products. But beyond that, nothing is clear. Whose

Use in Commerce of Cannabis Trademarks

Use in Commerce of Cannabis Trademarks

While cannabis brands need to be mindful of cannabis-specific trademark issues, they must also pay attention to trademarking basics. Back in January, we discussed three key trademark issues: distinctiveness, likelihood of confusion, and application bases. Today we continue our exploration of trademark basics, looking at the importance of choosing goods and services thoughtfully, in order

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