Florida Medical Marijuana CLE in June

I’ll be giving a short presentation on the intellectual property issues relevant to medical marijuana businesses – whether it’s a dispensary, farm, “lifestyle” brand, or any other company with an interest in medical (or legal recreational) marijuana.

The CLE is in Miami on June 29 and 30.

I encourage you to take a look at the agenda for this CLE.  Not only is John Morgan speaking at the event, but some highly-respected and experienced attorneys will also be speaking, such as folks from Harris Bricken LLP.  I’m looking forward to this CLE not only for the chance to speak but also for the chance to hear and learn from these industry veterans.

Here’s a link to the program, and these are the main topics:

  • Amendment 2 Rules Update
  • Federal vs. State Conflict
  • Taxes and the Treatment of Cannabis Income
  • Real Estate and Land Use
  • Intellectual Property
  • Marijuana Banking
  • Investing in the Cannabis Industry
  • Ethical Considerations and Legalized Marijuana
  • Medical Experience in Other States
  • Contracting with Marijuana Related Businesses
  • Insurance in the Cannabis Industry

Best Footnote in a Legal Opinion?

FN6: The court imagines an appropriate reaction from SpongeBob SquarePants would be, “Aw, tartar sauce!” SpongeBob SquarePants, Hall Monitor (Nickelodeon television broadcast Aug. 28, 1999).

That footnote is from a Janury 11, 2017 opinion by Judge Gray H. Miller of the Southern District of Texas which granted partial summary judgment to Viacom in its lawsuit against the operator of a proposed restaurant named the “Krusty Krab,” which we all know is this:

krusty_krab

Source: http://spongebob.wikia.com/wiki/Krusty_Krab

A couple of takeaways:

  1. Notice that I said this was a “proposed” restaurant.  How did Viacom find out about it if it was not in operation yet?  Because the operator of the restaurant filed a trademark application for THE KRUSTY KRAB for use with restaurant services.  Companies routinely monitor the USPTO’s trademark application records (i.e. the Official Gazette) so that they can file oppositions to the applications before they mature into registrations.  Except in this case, Viacom chose not to oppose the application at the USPTO level and instead sued in federal court.  (Based on the trademark application timeline, Viacom may have inadvertently missed the window to oppose the application, and since it’s an intent-to-use application, Viacom would have had to wait until the application matured into a registration to then try and cancel it.  If that’s the case, Viacom could have been waiting for up to three years before the applicant filed a statement of use, which is what would then push the application to a registration.)  Procedure nerds might be wondering how the case was ripe for adjudication if the restaurant was not yet in business.  When there is imminent threat of infringement, a case may be ripe for injunctive relief, and that’s what happened here.
  2. Even fictional brands can be protected under trademark law because consumers will expect a connection between the fictional brand and the source of the movie or TV show that uses the fictional brand.  Such as the Simpsons-themed food and beverage at Universal Studios:

img_0096

Source: http://www.foodbeast.com/news/krusty-burger-and-moes-tavern-now-open-at-universal-studios-hollywood/

See also: Springfield Dining at Universal Orlando

Here is the FULL OPINION.

Guest Lecture at Barry Law

I had the pleasure of guest-lecturing a Copyright Law class at Barry University School of Law on September 21.  It’s always nice to return to school to give the students some real-world examples from my practice while hopefully inspiring them to persevere and pursue an IP career.  I focused on the registration precondition to filing suit, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), preliminary injunctions, and the way that copyright prosecution intersects with copyright litigation.  Looking forward to my next classroom experience.

SuperLawyers – 2014 Rising Stars

I’m proud to announce that for the third year in a row, I’ve been selected as a Rising Star:

 

Kevin W. Wimberly has been named to the Florida Rising Stars list as one of the top up-and-coming attorneys in Florida for 2014 in the field of Intellectual Property.  Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state receive this honor.  The selection for this respected list is made by the research team at Super Lawyers.

Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.  The annual selections are made using a rigorous multi-phased process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, and independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer reviews by practice area.

The Rising Stars lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers magazine and in leading city and regional magazines across the country.

 

Congratulations are also in order for others in my firm:  Jim Beusse and Terry Sanks were named Super Lawyers in the 2014 Florida Edition of Super Lawyers Magazine in the field of Intellectual Property law, and Amber Davis was also listed as a Rising Star in the field of Intellectual Property law.

Professor Eric Goldman’s wife needs your attention

Anyone who practices in the field of “Internet Law” knows who Eric Goldman is.  I’m not the only one who religiously devours his Technology and Marketing Law blog, and I suspect that I’m also not the only attorney who finds his analysis of topics such as Section 230, the TCPA, and other “techie” issues to be quite valuable in my law practice.

He posted today, but it wasn’t about CAN-SPAM or whether or not a plaintiff might have a valid trespass to chattels claim based on alleged harm to a server.  No, today he posted about his family.  Specifically, his wife Lisa’s shocking lung cancer diagnosis.

I encourage you to read his post, and to also read Lisa’s blog as she tries to make sense of her condition while also spreading the word that lung cancer is not only a smokers’ disease.  As she said, “lung cancer can strike anyone with lungs.”  My cousin, Josh, died from colon cancer last year at 37 years old.  Lisa is 41.

Eric’s post: http://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2014/02/my-wife-has-lung-cancer-read-her-story.htm

Lisa’s Blog:  http://lisa.ericgoldman.org