Food, Drug & Agriculture

Time flies when you’re having fun. In November & December 2018, I wrote a series of posts about ownership dilution in the context of startup fundraising – it seems like it was yesterday – but apparently it was more than two years ago! If you’re interested in checking out those posts, they’re available here and here. In the intervening time, dilution has continued to regularly come up as a point of confusion among new founders and entrepreneurs. In addition to the posts linked above, here are some updated things to keep in mind with regard to dilution: Dilution is…
Unsurprisingly, I find myself often being asked to describe what “intellectual property” is.  I, all too often, find myself giving a description that is not all that helpful.  If you are asking what “intellectual property” is, then saying “intangible business assets” isn’t going to get us much closer to understanding.  One way that I have heard it described is a company’s “special sauce.” But that can sound kind of creepy. “Hey, baby, what’s your special sauce?” Yeah, no.  Let’s see if we can explain it a different way. I start with the premise that every business is special.  It is…
Effective May 3, 2021 DATCP (Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection) published an Emergency Rule making further changes to Wisconsin’s Hemp Pilot Program. Although Wisconsin is still operating under a “Pilot Program” pursuant to the provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill, this Emergency Rule (and the others before it) are meant to add flexibility for Wisconsin hemp growers and processors as Wisconsin lurches toward full compliance under the 2018 Farm Bill (we’ll get there). The most substantial change that this Emergency Rule (full text here) introduces is the opportunity for growers to remediate their non-conforming crops after…
We are very excited to announce that Pam Benedon has joined the OG+S team as a Legal Assistant. Yesterday (May 3) was her first day! Pam graduated from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh earning a Bachelor of Science in Education degree in English and Speech Communication. In her free time, Pam enjoys swimming, hiking, reading, and traveling. Some of her travels included spending a little over a year living in Hawaii. During this time, she took the opportunity to do some back packing in New Zealand and Australia, as well as multiple cross country road trips (You should see her photos!). She…
for our lives to be over! If you’re of a certain age, I hope that the title of this post caused you to belt that one out. Man, the nineties and early 2000’s were a beautiful time (which is exactly what my Dad says about the 70’s). “I Don’t Want to Wait” by Paula Cole peaked at #5 on Billboard in December 1997. In January 1998, Dawson’s Creek premiered, and of course, Paula Cole’s song was the opening theme through the entire run of the show and syndication (Not to mention many a teenaged memory) But, buy a DVD box…
People are weird. It really boils down to that.  And I’m not excluding myself from that categorization at all.  All people are weird.  Need proof? Veblen goods are proof.  A Veblen good is a good where demand rises as price rises. See?! Weird.  But, it turns out that people are weird in a somewhat predictable way on this one.  Often, this increased demand is because people feel its higher price reflects greater quality or greater status.  That means that this concept is usually attached to luxury goods or “prestige” brands.  Let’s remember those pair of Christian Louboutin heels from a…
Wisconsin is joining the growing number of states that are allowing restaurants and taverns to sell cocktails to-go. Today, Governor Evers signed Assembly Bill 32 into law, which allows restaurants and taverns to sell wine or intoxicating liquor by the glass for consumption away from their premises. This means that restaurants and taverns will be able to sell mixed drinks and glasses of wine, to-go, in sealed, tamper-proof containers. Prior to the passage of Assembly Bill 23, restaurants and taverns could sell full, sealed bottles of wine or liquor, but could not sell individual glasses of wine or cocktails to…
As trademark attorneys, we get the absolute luck to work with marketing firms and graphic designers a lot.  It is a lot of fun to work with such creative professionals. One thing that I hear from them over and over again is “Branding is so much more than trademarks!”  I agree! But since I am just a simple trademark attorney, that is what I can help clients address.  I didn’t learn about branding in law school.  However, as a business owner and through years of discussion, I’m starting to get an idea of what it is and what it isn’t.…
This is a short post to make a short, but important point: Remember: The default rule, in the eyes of the government, is that your employees are paid hourly, and therefore entitled to overtime. Just deciding to “put the employee on salary” to avoid paying overtime is not how it works. Employers don’t get to arbitrarily choose, who is salaried and who is not – there are specific, and nuanced rules (read, exceptions from the default rule) for making that determination. In other words, only select categories of staff can be paid on a salary basis…here are some of them…
Are you thinking about registering a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (the “USPTO”)? Registering a trademark can be a very smart and effective decision for your business, but it isn’t quite as simple as you might think it is. To register a trademark you need to provide a considerable amount of information about the mark itself, the goods or services provided under it, how the mark is used, etc. One of the most important things that you will be asked to provide is a specimen of use. If you’re currently thinking, “What in the world is…
Creating your Corporation or LLC is the first step towards the success of your new enterprise. But, as every entrepreneur already knows, creating the corporation (i.e. “mailing it in”), is only the first step. Here are a few additional items you should think about after your Articles of Incorporation have been filed with the WDFI. Get Good on Governance Right Away. The law may not require that you have a written document governing how your new company will operate – but you still need one. A written Operating AgreementBylaws will lay out, in detail, how the company will run, who…
A few years back I went through a blogging phase. Around the same time I had fallen deeply in love with thesauruses and chose to fill my blog with an abundance of overdramatic and ill-fitting words like “hullabaloo.” One thing was certain, my blog was never the cause of any kind of hullabaloo. I’m fairly certain my parents were the only ones to ever lay eyes on it, and I’m not even sure of that. I write to you today not to bore you with the mortifying details of my short-lived blogging hobby, but rather to inform other, far better…
Since I’ve gotten calls on this twice in the past two weeks, maybe it is good public information. No, your Wisconsin Liquor Store/Tavern/Restaurant/Bar cannot direct ship to consumers. It is certainly not legal to direct ship to consumers in Wisconsin. Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 125 requires “face-to-face” sales and prohibits delivery direct to consumers from any retailer (or wholesaler or manufacturer for that matter). [ed note: There is one exception to this in Wisconsin: Wineries with a Direct Wine Shippers Permit are permitted to ship directly to consumers in Wisconsin.] As for shipping from a Wisconsin retailer to an out-of-state consumer,…
You may already know a bit about notaries. That’s when you have to show your driver’s license and sign a piece of paper so the person who pretended they were a bouncer while looking at your ID can put a stamp on the paper confirming that you are you. Or as the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (“DFI”) puts it: A notary public is an individual issued an appointment by the Secretary of the Department of Financial Institutions to serve the public as an impartial witness, performing notarial acts as are allowed or required by law. Usually, this is done…
Don’t forget our upcoming seminars: Jan. 14 – Trademarks: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/134033920063 Jan. 21 – Copyrights: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/134073799343 Jan. 28 – Patents: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/134077022985 Feb. 4 – Trade Secrets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/134077117267 Feb. 11 – IP Contracts: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/134077197507 These are at 9:00 am Central Time via Zoom. You are welcome to come to one, a few or all. Proceeds will go to the Doyenne Group. P.S. that awesome graphic was created by our very own Hannah Best!…