Intellectual Property in the Cannabis Industry – D06

Hot Topic Track
Medical Marijuana Committee

Session D: 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

About the Program
This program provides an overview of the current state of intellectual property laws in the United States as they relate to the protection of cannabis and the cannabis industry. The program will focus on how intellectual property rights, as they relate to cannabis and the cannabis industry, are protected and enforced in the United States, the future of the cannabis industry, and strategy tips for cannabis companies to protect their intellectual property.

You Will Learn

  • How the cannabis industry is and is not protected by intellectual property laws
  • How to complete a Connecticut Trademark Application
  • Best practices for enforcing intellectual property rights for cannabis products


April Arrasate, April & Associates, Farmington

Attorney Arrasate is an attorney with a biochemistry background who has extensive entrepreneurial and executive experience in the commercial cultivation, processing and manufacture of cannabinoid medicine in a highly-regulated environment. As founder, shareholder and Chief Operating Officer of one of only four grower/processors licensed in Connecticut, Ms. Arrasate wrote the Curaleaf application and, post-licensing, oversaw and orchestrated the completion of a 40,000-square foot indoor production facility from initial build out to full production in under six months. Her range of products included: CO2-extracted vaporization oils, concentrates, drops, tinctures, oromucosal sprays, capsules, raw flower and edibles. Ms. Arrasate is well versed in all areas of the commercial production of cannabis-based medicine, including: facility build out, security, compliance, cultivation, harvest, processing, inventory tracking, testing, formulation, manufacture, packaging, delivery, fulfillment, product development, physician education, patient education, dispensary relations, public relations and overall branding.  Ms. Arrasate is a Connecticut and South Carolina licensed attorney and is Of Counsel with The Nicolette Firm in Palm Beach, Florida.  She is also Founder and Chair of the Connecticut Bar Association’s Medical Marijuana Committee.  Prior to her legal and entrepreneurial career, April worked in the biotech industry. She has worked in the field of pharmaceutical synthesis with Genzyme and with Harvard Medical School’s Channing Laboratory. Ms. Arrasate Currently practices law and consults in the cannabis space through April & associates.  April & Associates harnesses Ms. Arrasate’s legal, pharmaceutical and cannabis industry contacts and experience to pursue national and international business development opportunities in cannabinoid medicine, research, law and drug policy initiatives.


Daniel R. Cooper, Cooper & Kurz, Stamford

Attorney Cooper’s practice focuses on international trademark and unfair competition, copyright, and corporate matters, both transactional and litigation. In addition, Daniel has practiced in and advised clients on environmental law, Federal Indian law and indigenous affairs matters.

For over six years, Daniel has practiced in all areas of intellectual property on both the transactional and litigation side. Daniel has been with Cooper & Kurz from September 2010 to September 2011 and from March 2013 to the present. In between those two dates, he was Of- Counsel at Cooper & Kurz.

Daniel has been the Legislative Liaison for the CBA’s Intellectual Property Section since September 2015 and the Education Liaison for the Sports & Entertainment Law Section since 2016. Daniel is a CBA Presidential Fellow for the 2017-2019 biennial term.


Justin McNaughton, Greenspoon Marder LLP, Nashville, TN

Attorney McNaughton is a member of the Intellectual Property practice group at Greenspoon Marder. As a registered patent attorney he assists clients in protecting their inventions, software, and investments.  As a trademark attorney, he assists clients in protecting the hard earned goodwill their brands represent.  Patents he has assisted with include an “ergonomic electronic instrument with pseudo strings,” a “device with dilated oxidation zone for gasification of feedstock,” a “method for cleaning producer gas using a microwave induced plasma cleaning device,” a “self-cleaning pre-filter for a water circulation pump,” and a “water shelter or shed to protect a worker from heat, smoke, fire and chemicals.”

Mr. McNaughton’s practice focuses in the following areas: patent prosecution and protection, trademark, and copyright law; internet and website law; commercial contracts and technology licensing; biotechnology and life sciences; and entrepreneurs and startups.  He also negotiates technology, software, trademark and patent licenses, technology transfer agreements, product research and development agreements, and intellectual property acquisition agreements, website terms and conditions, privacy policies, and purchasing agreements. He enjoys assisting startups and entrepreneurs in forming their companies, implementing intellectual property assignments, operating agreements, buy-sell agreements, and shared services agreements, and providing general corporate advice.


2.0 CLE Credits (CT: 2.0 General; NY: 2.0 AOP)