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.

Deceptive China trademarks

Deceptive Trademarks in China

To avoid issues, brands registering their trademarks in China should consider whether their marks may in any way be considered deceptive.

China trademark registration

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.

China trademarks

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?

China trademark squatting

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:

China Manufacturing Agreements

Manufacturing in China: Minimizing Your Risks by Doing Things Right

This very long post aims to provide an overview of the challenges of manufacturing in China, as well as strategies for minimizing risks and maximizing opportunities. It outlines the administrative and regulatory requirements, process and production challenges, and specific cultural and market-specific risks.

Forced Labor

Uyghur Forced Labor for Export?

Uyghurs for sale is the title of a landmark Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) report on the transfer programs that have seen workers from Xinjiang taken to other Chinese provinces to work as forced laborers. Is Uyghurs for export the next phase? Labor transfer programs have been a critical component of Beijing’s Xinjiang policy, and

forced labor sanctions

Forced Labor: It’s Getting Real

For importers of Chinese products, this coming June 21 will be a critical date. On that day, a rebuttable presumption that all products made in Xinjiang violate the U.S. forced labor statute will come into effect. The rebuttable presumption is mandated by the Uyghur Forced Labor Protection Act (UFLPA), which was signed into law by

Amazon IP

Amazon Seller Shenanigans and Why You Must Register Your Copyrights

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) establishes a process whereby copyright owners can notify online service providers such as Amazon about infringing material and request that it be taken down. Such infringing material can include product images, logos (which may be eligible for trademark protection), and texts used on listings. According to the  U.S. Copyright