Fred Rocafort

Fred leads Harris Sliwoski’s intellectual property practice and is the coordinator of the firm’s international team. Much of Fred’s practice consists of helping cannabis businesses protect their brands. He also works with entrepreneurs and companies entering the Web3 space, a new frontier for IP law. Prior to joining Harris Sliwoski, Fred worked overseas for more than a decade, in both government and private sector roles. Fred is a regular contributor to the award-winning China Law Blog and Canna Law Blog.

Fred began his career overseas as a U.S. consular officer in Guangzhou, China, where he advocated for fairer treatment of American companies and citizens in China and for stronger intellectual property rights enforcement. After entering the private sector, Fred worked at a Shanghai law firm as a foreign legal advisor and later joined one of the oldest American law firms in China, helping foreign companies navigate the Chinese legal environment. He also led the legal team at a Hong Kong-based brand protection consultancy, spending most of his time out in the field, protecting clients against counterfeiters and fraudsters in Greater China, Southeast Asia and Latin America.

In addition to his IP work, as a native Spanish speaker, Fred works closely with different Harris Sliwoski teams on Latin America and Spain matters. Fred also provides advice to cannabis industry participants and other businesses on import and export transactions.

Fred is an ardent supporter of FC Barcelona—and would be even in the absence of Catalan forebears who immigrated to Puerto Rico in the mid-1800s.

How to stop counterfeit products from China

How to Protect your Product from Counterfeiting with 360° Trademark Protection

When companies come to my law firm to protect their brand names from Chinese copycats, our international trademark lawyers typically tell them that applying for such a trademark takes about a week, but actually getting the trademark takes about ten months. We then tell them that until they get their Chinese trademark, they will be

A mock-up of a Chinese personal registration identification card.

Your China Trademark Is Now Registered: What Next?

China Trademark Registered? Here’s How to Keep it Working for You What happens when you register a China trademark? What follows is an example of the emails our China trademark lawyers send clients after their trademark is registered, with some additional notes in bold italics. Dear Roberta, I am pleased to enclose the registration certificate

China copyright law

China Copyright Law: The Basics

Understanding Copyright Protection for Your Creative Work in China China still presents exciting opportunities for creators of all kinds. But protecting your intellectual property from China can be difficult. When it comes to copyright, however, there’s good news: copyright protection in China often arises automatically upon creation, similar to the US and EU. However, enforcing

Hong Kong is slipping

Hong Kong Update: Legal Developments Aplenty

2024 Hong Kong Legal Developments Article 23 and Its Implications Hong Kong is having a busy 2024 when it comes to legal developments. The city is getting ready to adopt national security legislation, separate from the National Security Law imposed by China in 2020. According to a public consultation document issued by the region’s Security

US Corporate Transparency Act (CTA)?

Navigating International Uncertainty

In a world where the only constant is change, the landscape of international business stands at a critical juncture. As we turn the pages of recent history marked by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine conflict, it’s evident that unforeseen events continue to shape the global economy in profound ways. How can businesses navigate this

International IP protection

Eight IP Questions to Ask Before Starting Business in a New Country

International IP Protection: The Questions to Ask  As companies transition out of China and move elsewhere, my law firm’s international IP attorneys are helping them protect their IP during and after this transition. This blog post delves into the critical questions every business should ask itself before entering a foreign market. The following are the

Conflicting China trademarks

What To Do When Someone Has Your China Trademark

Navigating China Trademark Conflicts It used to be rare for one of our clients to be unable to secure a desired trademark in China because someone had beaten them to it. With the proliferation of trademark filings in China over the last 3-5 years, those halcyon days are over. When our pre-application screening turns up

Trademark Protection In The Global Marketplace

How to Protect Your IP Internationally

A Strategic Approach to Global IP Protection While tidying up my inbox, I stumbled upon an old email I had sent to a Spanish client who had engaged our law firm to safeguard their IP across the globe. The below comes from our initial email, mapping out what we proposed we do to protect this

China trademark protections

China Trademark Oppositions and Invalidations: Good and Bad News

Our China Trademark Opposition and Invalidation Victories Our law firm just got some good news in the form of several favorable decisions on China trademark opposition and invalidation proceedings. This in itself was good news, but we were also pleased to see China’s Trademark Office (TMO) and Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB) give critical

A close-up of a screen.

Why You Should Register a Copyright in China

China Copyright Protections China copyrights without registration Copyright stands out from other intellectual property rights for the protections it enjoys without registration, including in China. For trademarks, the only pathway to protection for an unregistered mark in China is by meeting the narrow definition of a “well-known trademark.” By contrast, even works created outside of