Cognate's Trademark Blog

Blockchain & The Law Roundup: 11 March 2018

We haven’t published a roundup for a while, so we thought it was probably time take a quick look at all the latest legal blockchain stories.

The first article we reference in the latest issue of the ABA journal is probably the most relevant as most lawyers are learning about blockchain on the hoof,  just like the rest of us.

 

Title: Lawyers Can Contribute To Blockchain By Understanding It

Author: ABA Journal

Date: 9 March 2018

URL: http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/lawyers_can_contribute_to_the_rise_of_blockchain_by_understanding_it

Extract: 

Blockchain technology can make legal services more efficient and less costly by establishing automated smart contracts that don’t have to rely on human intermediaries to be enacted. According to David Fisher, founder and CEO at Integra Ledger, lawyers need to first understand how blockchain functions before it can be effectively used in the legal industry.

“I think the first step is for attorneys to understand what it is because there’s a common misconception that blockchain is a new application,” said Fisher as he explained during his “Blockchain Reaction: The Next Big Thing” presentation before a large standing-room-only crowd at the 2018 ABA Techshow. “People are used to thinking in terms of new software, new apps … but the reality is that just how you don’t go and buy the internet, you don’t go and buy a blockchain.”

 

Title: 9 Reasons Blockchain Needs A General Counsel

Author: Coin Telegraph

Date: 9 March 2018

URL: https://cointelegraph.com/news/9-reasons-blockchain-projects-need-a-general-counsel-expert-take

Extract: 

Imagine that your ICO raised $50 mln and your cryptocurrency is trading at 100x from where you launched. Everyone loves your project, your friends and family are impressed, and you’re the darling of Blockchain. Congratulations and welcome to the big leagues! You now have a significant enterprise to protect, demanding stakeholders to satisfy, and a challenging product roadmap to deliver on. Besides talented engineers and marketers, you need a in-house lawyer on your team. Here are some reasons why.

 

Title:  Mapping The Regulatory Landscape For ICOs And Blockchain Technology

Author: Cryptoglobe

Date: 9 March 2018

URL: https://www.cryptoglobe.com/latest/2018/03/mapping-the-regulatory-landscape-for-icos-and-blockchain/

Extract: 

Global blockchain regulation is currently an underdeveloped patchwork of confusing and contradictory policies that vary wildly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. It is highly likely that certain countries such as Switzerland, Singapore and Gibraltar will set precedents from which more nations follow. A result of this will be the consolidation of regulatory blockchain policies.

It has now reached the point whereby the importance of blockchain technology and its successful regulation is undeniable. Eva A. Kaili a member of the European Parliament who chairs the Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) puts the regulatory challenge in perspective:

 

Title: A Hacker-Lawyer’s View on Blockchain, Big Law and Cybersecurity

Author: Law.com

Date: 10 March 2018

URL: https://www.law.com/2018/03/08/a-hacker-lawyers-view-on-blockchain-big-law-and-cybersecurity/

Extract: 

In this episode of Unprecedented, Alexander Urbelis of New York’s Blackstone Law Group talks about how he went from teenage hacker to Big Law attorney, and how that unusual path has shaped his legal practice.

 

Title: Decentral Inc. And Gowling Wlg Form Strategic Blockchain Alliance

Author: Payment Week.com

Date: 8 March 2018

URL: https://paymentweek.com/2018-3-8-decentral-inc-gowling-wlg-form-strategic-blockchain-alliance/

Extract: 

Decentral Inc., Canada’s leading blockchain company and the creator of Jaxx, and Gowling WLG, a multinational law firm and leader in the blockchain space, have today announced a strategic alliance to optimize the many commercial and legal applications of blockchain technology. The relationship will allow the two companies to fuse their expertise on a number of significant initiatives – from engineering practical smart contract technology and drafting foundational legal precedents documents, to helping regulators establish frameworks that encourage the responsible growth of Canada’s thriving blockchain sector.

 

Title: Blockchain Is Disrupting the Future of Legal Tech

Author: Bigger Law Firm.com

Date: 7 March 2018

URL: https://www.biggerlawfirm.com/blockchain-is-disrupting-the-future-of-legal-tech/

Extract: 

As blockchain progresses, it will become extremely important for firms of all sizes. Some expect that medium-sized firms will begin to work with separate larger firms to piggyback off their operations and collaborate together, a revolutionary idea for lawyers. The ideal way to work with change is to embrace it, and accepting blockchain may be the next best thing in legal tech.

 

Title:  Proposed Trademark Classes for Cannabis-Related Marks in Doubt as California Allows Registration under Existing Classes

Author: National Law Review

Date: 9 March 2018

URL: https://www.natlawreview.com/article/proposed-trademark-classes-cannabis-related-marks-doubt-california-allows

Extract: 

One year after Wilson Elser published an article comprehensively exploring “California’s Bill to Add Marijuana Trademark and Service Mark Classifications” and other cannabis brand-protection alternatives, the referenced bill (AB 64) currently remains stalled in the legislative process, with no reported activity occurring on it since September 1, 2017 − four months before California started issuing adult-use cannabis licenses on January 1, 2018.

California’s Secretary of State recently clarified that as of January 12, 2018, trademark applications for cannabis products and services would be processed, provided the marks are lawfully used in commerce under existing California law. This welcome announcement followed a period of apparent uncertainty at the Secretary of State’s office.

 

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