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License Executive Society USA & Canada

Cannabis, Intellectual Property, and Commercialization

  • 15 Jun 2022
  • 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
  • Webinar

LES Silicon Valley Chapter Webinar

"Cannabis, Intellectual Property, and Commercialization"

Wednesday, June 15th, 2022
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. (PST)


Presentation #2

The conflicting nature of federal versus state laws regarding the legality of cannabis, both for medical and recreational purposes, can cause complications for those seeking patents, trademarks, or other intellectual property protections, for business growth and expansion, and licensing for their business, IP, or ideas. This panel will inform the audience of the opportunities and unique challenges the cannabis industry faces trying to develop an intellectual portfolio (including global portfolios), protect and enforce intellectual property rights, grow a cannabis company using IP licensing, and myriad other issues, including the FDA regulations, related to intellectual property and commercialization in the cannabis sector. The panel will also address current trends in IP litigation in the cannabis industry. Lastly, attendees will hear an overview of how IPRs for cannabis are applied in other countries, illustrating the challenges of establishing a strategy for international protection.

Dale Hunt, Founder, Plant & Planet Law Firm
Shabnam Malek, Partner, Brand & Branch LLP; Founding President, International Cannabis Bar Association
Luke Zimmerman, LL.M, Founder and Principle, The Law Office of Luke S. Zimmerman APC.
Soody Tronson, Founding Managing Counsel, STLG Law Firm; Founder/CEO, Presque Medical; LESSVC Board Member and Past-Chair

Dale Hunt, Founder, Plant & Planet Law Firm
Dale is a plant scientist, a Cannabis lawyer, and a registered U.S. patent attorney with over 20 years of experience protecting plant varieties in the United States and worldwide. Dale is the founder of Plant & Planet Law Firm, an Intellectual Property Law practice, where he provides guidance and expertise on patents and I.P. matters and aids clients in establishing I.P. protection for their legal marijuana cultivars, products, and businesses. Before working in the legal cannabis industry, Dale worked with other clients in agriculture, water purification, alternative energies, biotechnology, and medicine. He has helped many clients commercialize their I.P., products, and plant varieties internationally.

Through Plant & Planet Law Firm, he and his team continue to service these clients in addition to their Cannabis clients. Dale has degrees in botany (B.S.), plant genetics (M.S.), molecular & cellular biology (PhD), and law (J.D.). Dale has spoken on cannabis-related topics at several gatherings, including the Marijuana Business Convention, Emerald Cup, National Meeting of the Association of University Technology Managers, Meadowlands Leadership Summit, Perrin Conference on Emerging Legal Trends in the Cannabis Industry, and San Diego chapters of the MIT Enterprise Forum and the Licensing Executives Society. He has also been interviewed for and quoted in numerous news articles and by national media outlets on marijuana and patenting.

Shabnam Malek, Partner, Brand & Branch LLP; Founding President, International Cannabis Bar Association
Shabnam has a broad practice but takes the greatest pleasure in advising clients on how best to grow, navigate risk, resolve disputes, and think creatively to balance business needs and legal concerns. Shabnam is recognized as an expert in cannabis intellectual property and addressing particularly thorny and novel issues. She's a creative thinker looking for solutions that help her clients succeed. Shabnam truly enjoys the role of counselor to startups, woman-owned companies, large, global companies, and individuals.

Shabnam is a co-founder and the founding President of the International Cannabis Bar Association. Today, INCBA boasts a membership base of over 600 individual attorney members and a strong international presence. She currently sits on the governing board of INCBA and helps plan the educational curriculum of the organization with a focus on INCBA's flagship event, the Cannabis Law Institute. Shabnam recently joined the editorial board of Law360's Cannabis Editorial Advisory Board. Shabnam is also the Chair of the PLI Cannabis Business Law program and an Adjunct Professor at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. In addition to serving the business community, Shabnam developed a robust pro bono practice representing imprisoned women before the California Board of Parole Hearings and representing houseless San Francisco residents through the Coalition on Homelessness. Shabnam regularly speaks and writes on trademarks, brand expansion, regulated industries such as cannabis and hemp, and the role of women in creating change.

Her professional affiliations include holding a seat on the Board of Directors of the International Cannabis Bar Association and a committee role with the International Trademark Association. She is an active member of the California Lawyers' Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Lawyers Guild, the Queen's Bench, and the Bar Association of San Francisco. Shabnam was named a Northern California Rising Star three years in a row by Super Lawyers Magazine.

Luke Zimmerman, LL.M, Founder and Principle, The Law Office of Luke S. Zimmerman APC.
Luke received his undergraduate degree in philosophy from the University of Oregon at Eugene. He then graduated from Thomas Jefferson School of Law, in San Diego, as a member of the Pro Bono Honors Society. His interest in international trade and investment law led him to the Netherlands, where he obtained a Masters of Law from the University of Amsterdam. The focus of his master thesis was the effect of bilateral trade agreements on the harmonization of intellectual property standards provided through the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). His experiences living in Amsterdam and observations of the paradigm shift surrounding cannabis led Luke to believe that the end of cannabis prohibition would be the future of The United States.

A core mission of the Law Office of Luke S. Zimmerman is drug policy reform, which is why Luke volunteers for the Clemency Project 2014. Luke currently splits his time working with clients in California and nationally on trademark issues. Luke is also certified by Oaksterdam University in beginner and advanced courses. He has received advanced training and certification in mediation, alternative dispute resolution (ADR), and cross-cultural competencies. The Law Office of Luke S Zimmerman APC is featured in the 3rd edition of the Arcview market report “The State of Legal Marijuana Markets” in the branding in the cannabis industry section. Luke Zimmerman is a member of the National Cannabis Bar Association (NCBA).

Soody Tronson, Founding Managing Counsel, STLG Law Firm; Founder/CEO, Presque Medical; LES-SVC Board Member and Past-Chair
In her 25 years of operational experience, Soody has engaged in interdisciplinary innovation in science, engineering, law, technology, management, and business in start-up and fortune 100 companies. She has held technical and management positions at Schering-Plough and H.P.; has practiced law at Hewlett-Packard Inc., a successfully acquired medical device start-up, and two national law firms, HellerEhrman and Townsend and Townsend. Later, she started the boutique intellectual property law firm STLG. She counsels domestic and international clients in intellectual property and tech transactions in various sectors, including hardware, software, medical devices, and alternative energy, and cannabis. Soody lectures on I.P., licensing, technology transfer, and entrepreneurship domestically and internationally. In 2016 she formed Presque, a women and infant healthcare medical device company. Soody has served in board, advisory, and leadership capacities with several organizations, including the Association for Women in Science national accelerator, California Lawyers Association Executive Committee of the Intellectual Property, Licensing Executives Society USA/Canada, and Silicon Valley Chapter; and the Northern California District Export Council. Soody is actively engaged with several civic and government entities, including a Commissioner with Menlo Park in California, Silicon Valley Leadership Group technology, healthcare, education committees, and Defy Ventures, an entrepreneurship, employment, and character development training program for currently and formerly incarcerated men, women, and youth.

Soody also consults in non-legal capacity on select projects with both domestic and international sectors including company assessment and market positioning. She is engaged by European universities to consult and establish technology transfer programs and policies. She is an inventor on patent applications and issued patents. Soody holds a J.D., M.S. in industrial chemistry, and B.S. in chemistry, and is licensed to practice before the State of California and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; and a member of the International Cannabis Bar Association (INCBA). She is co-author of “Women Securing the Future with TIPPSS for IoT: Trust, Identity, Privacy, Protection, Safety, Security for the Internet of Things;” is listed as The World's Leading I.P. Strategists by IAM Strategy 300; recognized as one of the 100 Women of Influence in Silicon Valley; Where does she get her energy: HighNote Coffee, a third-wave coffee roasting company she co-founded in Silicon Valley.

CLE: 1.5 hours CLE credit available (California)

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