See the latest fallout from choosing a cannabis brand that too-closely matches an existing non-canna trademark: http://mjbizdaily.com/under-legal-pressure-seattle-mj-retailer-changes-name/
While we can't say that the replacement brand was much of an improvement ('pot shop' is descriptive and therefore difficult to protect), at least they are straying from the well-worn industry brand tropes (stash, green, canna, kind, etc.). In this case, re-branding was the responsible choice, and should serve this company better in the long run. A reminder not to get too attached to your weak trademarks.
Take a look at my latest contribution to San Francisco Attorney Magazine! The recent surge in 3D printing technology, or additive manufacturing (AM), and its application across myriad industries poses a challenge to standards for intellectual property protection that could have long-lasting ripple effects if not addressed properly.
My latest from the pages of San Francisco Attorney Magazine: http://www.sfbar.org/forms/sfam/q22016/cannabis.pdf . A general overview of the American cannabis industry from inception, through prohibition and on to today's legalization efforts. Our country's history with this unique plant is turbulent but also, apparently, circular.
The cannabis industry has always had an historical mentor in the alcoholic beverages biz...This post from Huffington Business highlights lessons to take from the success of microbrew branding over the past couple decades: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eleah-lubatkin/for-ganjapreneurs-lessons_b_9760810.html?utm_hp_ref=marijuana . While many cannabis companies have quickly learned that sophistication in branding equals success, it is just as important to carve out a recognizable foothold for these proprietary brands, protecting their value within an increasingly-crowded niche market.
The battle over trademark rights to some of America's grandest landmarks smacks of some dystopian future 'Corpocracy'. It also exposes a troubling lack of foresight on the part of the federal government and the National Parks Service. Several facets of trademark law are at play in this dispute, and the ultimate outcome (barring settlement) has potential to set new precedent. Read more here: http://www.outsideonline.com/2048041/who-owns-yosemite
Congress has effectively codified the administration's hands-off policy towards legal state medical marijuana operators. Very curious to see whether this will open doors for wider protection of intellectual property. Read more here: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-medical-pot-20141216-story.html
Do you enjoy flying robots as much as I do?! If so, check out my latest contribution to San Francisco Attorney Magazine detailing the battle over regulations for the use of drones in U.S. airspace: http://www.sfbar.org/forms/sfam/q42015/drone-wars.pdf. What does the future hold for this rapidly-growing industry?