North Carolina gives Hemp to the Feds, Another Appeal upholds Roundup Cancer Verdict, and other legal news to ponder from Cape Law Firm

North Carolina gives Hemp Program to USDA

North Carolina has decided to give the USDA responsibility for hemp production in the State with its announcement that it will not continue its hemp pilot program authorized under the 2014 Farm Bill. The decision was motivated by the cost of administering the program and legislative policy disputes. Wisconsin is also considering whether to abandon its hemp program and cede oversight to USDA due to costs. For States that do not administer their own hemp programs, producers will have to apply for a license from USDA. There are no license fees for a federal license, but growers will have to secure sampling and testing services from private parties. As States consider the cost of administering hemp under their own plans, more may decide that they would rather let USDA shoulder the burden.

Bayer loses 3rd Roundup cancer appeal

This week a California appellate court upheld an $86 million verdict against Bayer finding that Roundup caused a couple’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The case is the third appeal that Bayer has lost over jury verdicts finding Roundup herbicide causes cancer. Notably, the court of appeals rejected Bayer’s consistent argument that FIFRA, the federal law regulating pesticides, preempts the couple’s Failure to Warn claims. Bayer is planning to appeal at least one of the Roundup cancer cases to the U.S Supreme Court for a review of the FIFRA preemption argument.

In an effort to limit its exposure to the Roundup cancer litigation, Bayer recently announced that it will remove glyphosate from its Roundup-branded consumer products, but will keep it in herbicides used in agriculture and by professional applicators.

Cape Law Firm’s Frequently (or Randomly) Asked Questions

What’s the Supplemental Register for Trademarks?

There are two registers for Trademarks, the Principal Register and the Supplemental Register. The Principal Register is for marks that are distinctive (the most unique) and provides the most benefit from registration – such as a presumption of validity and ownership in all 50 States. The Supplemental Register is reserved for marks that are descriptive may not be unique enough to function as a trademark – at least not yet. For example, using the name “Fruit Water” for a line of fruit-flavored beverages would be descriptive and would likely wind up on the Supplemental Register. A mark on the Supplemental Register does not get the same presumption of validity and ownership, but it is still “registered” and you can sue for infringement (although your burden of proof is higher). Registration on the Supplemental Register also serves as a deterrent to others from trying to register an identical or similar mark. The mark may also be moved to the Principal Register if it acquires distinctiveness over time.

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