On Demand

Representing Cannabis Industry Clients: IP Strategies and Attorney Ethics

1h 1m

Created on October 14, 2021





Notwithstanding its illegality under Federal law, cannabis is now legal for medical and/or adult recreational use in a majority of states. The tension between state and federal law (and the newness of a legal cannabis industry) raises ethical pitfalls for attorneys of cannabis industry clients. And IP attorneys must mind other ethical considerations: for example, given the relative scarcity of published prior art in the cannabis industry, patent attorneys should be extra vigilant in disclosing known prior public uses to the USPTO; and Trademark practitioners must take care to ensure that their clients' marks' uses in commerce are Federally legal.

This program will offer a primer on the current quasi-legal cannabis industry; discuss the tension between state and federal cannabis legal regimes, the ethical rules, and related attorney-client privilege considerations; and teach how cannabis-related IP may be best protected and potentially enforced in this legally awkward environment. 

The course will benefit experienced IP attorneys looking to learn about cannabis practice and cannabis industry attorneys seeking relevant IP strategies for their clients. 

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Discuss the conflicting requirements and tension between state and federal cannabis laws

  2. Identify and avoid ethical pitfalls in representing cannabis industry clients in IP matters

  3. Avoid potential privilege waivers in representing cannabis industry clients in IP matters

  4. Prepare cannabis-related Federal trademark applications that are likely to be allowed notwithstanding Federal cannabis prohibition

  5.  Prepare IP strategies for cannabis clients that contemplate unique IP enforcement issues

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