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America’s Newest Crop: IP Protection, Product Development, and Enforcement for Hemp Innovation

(286 reviews)

Produced on June 04, 2020

$ 89 Food, Beverage, & Agriculture and Cannabis In Stock
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Course Information

Time 1h
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Food, Beverage, & Agriculture Cannabis

Course Description

The 2018 Farm Bill gave American farmers access to an entirely new crop: cannabis. There has been rapid adoption by farmers across the United States, and a burgeoning industry is being created. Legal regimes across the states have also been rapidly adapting to this new normal and are on pace with the ascension of the industry.  

This program, taught by Chris Holly, Dan Knauss, and Erich Veitenheimer of Cooley LLP, will provide an executive summary overview of the core concepts involved in protecting innovation in the hemp market, best practices to ensure intellectual property protection is not inadvertently lost through common business practices, and a conversation on enforcing Cannabis-related IP, including hemp.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Review the key forms of legal intellectual property protection available to plant-based inventions with an emphasis upon hemp

  2. Integrate IP protection programs into product development and avoid loss of key legal rights

  3. Discuss the enforcement of plant IP

Credit Information

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Daniel Knauss


Dan Knauss’s litigation practice focuses on intellectual property, with an emphasis on life sciences. He litigates patent infringement and contract disputes concerning a variety of technologies, including cancer medicines, antiviral therapeutics, biofuels, agriculture and medical devices. He has been to trial in federal courts, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board and the International Trade Commission.

Before attending law school, Dan was director of intellectual property at Third Wave Technologies, a publicly owned molecular diagnostics company. In this position, he managed an international patent portfolio of over 200 issued and pending applications and coordinated outside counsel to achieve the company's patent procurement goals and service its licensing and litigation needs.

While at Stanford Law School, he was an editor of the Stanford Technology Law Review and externed in the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office, preparing and successfully arguing several motions in court for misdemeanor and felony matters.

He developed scientific expertise as a graduate student focusing on retroviral entry mechanisms, cancer biology, and antiretroviral therapeutic drug discovery. He is published in peer-reviewed scientific journals and has given oral presentations at national scientific meetings.

Chris Holly


Dr. Chris Holly's practice focuses upon helping clients in the agriculture, food, microbiology and biotechnology industries create and leverage robust IP portfolios. He has a vast experience in helping startup companies in the human and agricultural microbiome sector carve out valuable space in this emerging IP landscape.

Chris has counseled clients in a range of technical areas, including: novel agricultural active compounds, herbicidal and insecticidal compositions, antimicrobial compounds, biotechnology assays, and the transformation of microbial organisms for the production of compounds of interest.

Prior to joining Cooley, he was an associate at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz in that firm's DC office.

Chris obtained a PhD in Biological Sciences from Mississippi State University with research funded by the US Department of Agriculture and focused upon microbial and plant community dynamics in agricultural systems. By utilizing molecular techniques to characterize the microbial communities present in the agricultural systems and landscape scale data to characterize the plant communities inhabiting the systems, Chris' research resulted in significant insights that led to the publication of several peer reviewed scientific articles. During his last year of graduate research, Chris was selected as the top PhD research associate at Mississippi State University.

Chris maintains an active interest in academic agricultural technology issues, by frequently serving as an expert scientific reviewer for several leading weed science and agricultural technology journals.

While attending the University of Mississippi School of Law, Chris served as an editor for the Mississippi Law Journal, was a Dean's Leadership Council member, and won first place in an appellate oral advocacy competition. While attending Millsaps College, his undergraduate research focused upon utilizing electron microscopy to characterize oil absorbing polymer composites and the effects that biotic factors, bacterial species, had on the composites.

Dr. Erich Veitenheimer focuses on developing and implementing strategies to enable life sciences and biotech companies, universities and nonprofit research organizations to procure worldwide protection for their inventions and/or to provide them with the necessary freedom to operate. He has extensive experience in obtaining and defending patent positions by using practical, cost-effective approaches to resolving patent and trade secret disputes. He is named one of the top lawyers in the United States for life sciences and patent prosecution matters (Legal 500).

In addition to integrated and focused patent portfolio management, Erich provides counseling to national and international clients for a wide variety of intellectual property matters including opinions, due diligences, licensing negotiations, agreements, patent interferences, re-examinations, reviews and oppositions.

Erich's practice covers a wide variety of technologies, including plant breeding, food science, agricultural biotechnology, alternative foods, biocides, natural plant protectants, pharmaceuticals, biosimilars, nutraceuticals and biofuels. His practice also encompasses the requirements for depositing biological materials and the IP issues associated with biodiversity laws.

Erich has an established record of pro bono work and legal leadership roles and presently leads the DC office's pro bono efforts and co-chairs the pro bono committee firmwide. He also serves as the chair of our LGBTQ Affinity Group.

Prior to joining Cooley, Erich was a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. He served as an ocean systems technician in the US Navy, held positions as a plant breeder/biostatistician with DeKalb-Pfizer Genetics and as a senior corn breeder with DeKalb Genetics International, and was a primary patent examiner in the biotechnology group of the US Patent and Trademark Office.


Christina J.

Incredibly informative! I knew nothing about this topic coming in to the course, but now feel confident I could at least have a discussion with a company who wanted to focus on a plant or cannibals product. Thank you so much!

Janice S.

Specialized program.

Anthony M.

Good Information.

Linda B.

Very interesting and informative.

Karen T.

Excellent presentation!

Laura H.

I teach courses in business law and entrepreneurship, which often involve discussions of conflicts between federal and state law, as well as IP. The development of the cannabis industry is fascinating, and I was really interested in the intellectual property implications, which I frankly had not much considered. (I did not know, for example, that federal illegality was not a bar to patent protection!) Great topic, the speakers were obviously experts in their fields with ample practice experience. Excellent presentation of a complex but exciting new area of law. Thank you!

Charles W.

Good overall presentation.

James V.

Enjoyed the non legal part of the presentation about cannabis, too.

Pamela C.

Excellent presenters.

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