Food, Drug & Agriculture

We are thrilled to introduce you to our newest attorney, Katie Mahoney! Katie is a recent graduate of the Law School of UW-Madison, and we are excited she chose to start her law career with OG+S. We are impressed with her passion for copyright and artists but even more so for her focus on communication. Her rescue dog, Snowy, did a fabulous job of staying quiet throughout the process of video interviews. The same cannot be said for other OG+S pets. So clearly good communication is a Mahoney family trait! Like the rest of us at the firm, she is…
This is a short post because the point is simple: If you choose to do business with individuals who do not like to run their business with written agreements, good governance, and sound policies – its to your detriment. We’ve written countless times about the need for all businesses to treat themselves “like a business” from day one. Truthfully, there is no magic time when your business suddenly becomes “real” and therefore needs all the things “real businesses” need. The rules of the road apply to everyone – big or small. As I wrote in a LinkedIn post back in
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on August 20, 2020, published an interim final rule that, if adopted, would essentially criminalizes the hemp oil extraction process, contradicting the 2018 Farm Bill and potentially putting the entire CBD industry at risk. The DEA is the federal agency that enforces the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which categorizes all drugs, substances and chemicals regulated by federal law into five “schedules.” Cannabis is currently categorized as a Schedule I drug, defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Other Schedule I drugs include lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)…
If you’ve read our blog religiously, you’ll know that I often write about intellectual property and video games (or, cartoons). Well, its been awhile, and in 2020, levity is required! So, today, we’re talking about the two most famous (fictional) apes of all time – Donkey Kong & King Kong – and the epic intellectual property battle between them. The year was 1982, and the arcade business was booming. In 1981 alone, arcades were a $5 billion dollar industry in the United States and Universal (“City”) Studios wanted a piece. In an effort to cash in, Universal sought to license…
Things have been pretty exciting in trademark law over the last few years. The Slants won a case in the Supreme Court to protect their band’s name – overturning a longtime precedent of the USPTO barring trademark protection for “disparaging terms.” Now, the Supreme Court is at it again – ruling against the USPTO and their (somewhat) blanket rule of barring registration of generic terms with “.com” (or another TLD) added to them. Yes, I’m talking about “Booking.com.” This case is notable for a few reasons, read on for more information. The USPTO’s Basic Argument The…
Here we are. We know our company has value and so does the trademark.  That means I often look at it through a final set of lenses.  Those are succinctly put: Offense Defense Increase value Other third party considerations (a/k/a Amazon told me to) Offense:  Are we wanting to swat down people trying to pretend they are us? Those darned SCRUBBIEDUB imposters begone!  If yes, that means we are going to take proactive measures to do so including take-down demands and maybe even sue.  Yes, we will spend the money to do it – sometimes a lot of money.  Beware,…
Now we know that we are eligible for federal registration, and that we can afford it.  But is it important?  Is this a primary part of our business or not?  What is your return on your investment for this product?  In our pretend business, SCRUBBIEDUBS is our overall trademark, so that’s likely important.  What if we have separate “lines” of washcloths?  Our “flagship” lines may be worth protecting, but a one-off one may not be.  Unless we are super-fancy and have limited editions that are collectible.  What? I can dream.   Is this something we are going to do for…
After last week’s post, we know that for a federal trademark we need to have interstate commerce, often because we are selling across state lines.  So let’s pretend that we know we can apply for federal registration based on sales. Now, we have to decide if it is a strong trademark:  Is this mark protectible?  Is it too descriptive? Is it likely to be confused with someone else’s mark? Is it a little too risqué?  Assuming all of that is good to go, the next question is: Do we have the money for it?  If all…
I have been asked the question, “Is getting a trademark worth the money?” a lot lately.  Companies are trying to protect their assets and their budget.  They want to spend their money wisely so they rightly ask if this is a good use of it.  Now, I always laugh a little and remind them that they are asking a trademark attorney if a trademark is a good idea so I may be a bit biased, but it is still a very good question and an even better analysis. If you have talked to me at all about this, you know…
All good things must come to an end. On October 31, 2020 Wisconsin’s Hemp Pilot program that was ushered in by the 2014 Farm Bill will be replaced with a permanent program that complies the 2018 Farm Bill and Wisconsin Act 68. The program was supposed to sunset sooner, but as with many things these days – replacement and implementation was delayed. In the meantime, Wisconsin DATCP has implemented an emergency rule that makes significant changes to the regulations that underpin the pilot program. Operationally, not much will change for hemp growers and processors this year, but the emergency rule…
We firmly believe that the most important thing that a business can do is listen to their customers. Listen to what they are telling you, listen to what they are asking you, but also listen for their problems beyond their direct statements and questions. But don’t stop there. Then look at what you can do to address those issues. Do you need to change your ways? Stop doing something or start doing something else? You can just nod and say, “Hmm, yes, I hear you.” During this PPP madness, one thing that we kept hearing is that while clients *knew*…
On June 5, 2020, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (“Flexibility Act”) was signed into law, amending the CARES Act.  Then on June 19, 2020, the Small Business Administration and Treasury issued additional interim final rules regarding the implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program to conform to the Flexibility Act.  However, in the fun ways that only legislation and regulations can work, “[t]he provisions in this interim final rule related to loan forgiveness for PPP loans are effective March 27, 2020. The provision in this interim final rule relating to the maturity date of PPP loans is effective…
Last week we posted a video about Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA/s) and how a common mistake in their drafting could put your Company’s trade secrets at risk. Now, we’re following up with this blog post to point out the key provisions to keep an eye out for. Remember: Trade Secrets are protected by statute and can (must) be kept secret forever. Make sure an NDA that you are asked to sign does not accidentally tie disclosure of your trade secrets to a shorter confidentiality period. In other words, trade secrets are special – make sure the NDA treats them accordingly. Below,…
We all get them. Text messages.  Some from friends, some from family, some from Starbucks, and some are from entities that you don’t know until that DING! on your phone.  They can be annoying, but they can also be extraordinarily helpful to contact clients and supporters. I get very happy when I know my food was just delivered!  So let’s explore a little bit about how to use texts to contact people from a professional stand point. There are two main sets of laws that regulate how texts may be sent.  One is the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA
“Chromatica,” the latest album from Lady Gaga, was released on Friday. Have you already listened to it 10x on repeat? Does “Babylon” (Track 16) sound familiar to you? Are you friends with any Madonna fans? Then, you might know about the hubbub already. Before reading further, here are both tracks: [embedded content] [embedded content] Whether this becomes another “Vanilla Ice” moment remains to be seen. The tracks are, in my opinion at least, not as close as “Under Pressure” and “Ice Ice Baby” were – but rest assured, close enough that Madonna’s lawsuit will probably move forward beyond its initial…