Frederic Rocafort, Attorney
Fred leads Harris Sliwoski’s intellectual property practice and is the coordinator of the firm’s international team. He is dedicated to helping businesses from around the world and across industries protect their brands as they grow. Many of Fred’s clients operate in spaces that constitute new frontiers for IP law, such as cannabis, psychedelics, and Web3. Prior to joining Harris Sliwoski, Fred worked in China for more than a decade, in both government and private sector roles. He is a regular commentator on brand protection matters and serves as an expert witness on IP-related cases.
Fred began his career overseas as a U.S. consular officer in Guangzhou, 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, and helping secure their R&D and manufacturing facilities in Greater China, Southeast Asia, and Latin America.
In addition to his IP work, Fred advises clients doing business overseas on corporate matters, leveraging his proficiency in Spanish and Chinese. On any given day, Fred will guide clients as they set up an S. de R.L. in Mexico, explore opportunities in Thailand’s budding cannabis market, vet potential business partner in Brazil, negotiate manufacturing agreements with suppliers in Colombia, and take down infringing listings from e-commerce sites in China.
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.
What clients have to say about Frederic
“Harris Sliwoski has been our first call in the legal industry for a long time now. Jonathan Bench and Fred Rocafort are always able to answer questions and resolve issues and are real experts in international business transactions and intellectual property law. They have developed smart and efficient strategies for our company that have brought great results. I would not hesitate to recommend this law firm to anyone doing international business.”
– Rian Berry, Vice President of Product and Sourcing | Empire Managed Solutions LLC
“Efficient, caring, fair and a pleasure to do a US trademark application with. Even responded to emails on Independence Day, a public holiday. Highly recommend their services.”
– Adam Blaiklock, Co-founder | Justin Pty Ltd
More About Frederic
[Forced Labor Series]: Tackling the Intricacies of Forced Labor with Bob Kossick and Fred Rocafort, Simply Trade Podcast, October 24, 2023.
Episode #07, Six Days in Suez Podcast, October 24, 2023.
6th Annual Symposium On Global IP Strategic Planning, IP Monetization & Trade, Technoeconomics, October 2, 2023.
Southeast Asia IP Virtual Roadshow, USPTO, August 8, 2023.
Of Particular Import: Protecting Brands from Infringing Imports, Alt Legal Webinar, July 27, 2023.
U.S. Import and Export of Marijuana, Hemp, and Paraphernalia, Harris Sliwoski Webinar, July 25, 2023.
Protecting, Clearing, and Enforcing Trademarks in International Trade, Content Enablers Webinar, July, 18,2023.
La piratería como una dolorosa realidad para LATAM, ASIPI Podcast, July 6, 2023.
Trademark Licensing in the Cannabis Industry: Legality, Disclosure, Diligence, and Key Provisions, Stafford CLE Webinar, March 28, 2023.
Managing Trademarks in International Trade, Stafford CLE Webinar, March 15, 2023
Roundtable: Trademarks and non-fungible tokens, United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), January 24, 2023.
Cannabis and International Trade Issues, NCBFAA webinar, December 1, 2022.
Three Things to Watch for in International Brand Protection for 2023, MarqVision, November 3, 2022.
Annual Symposium On Global IP Strategic Planning, IP Monetization, And Trade, Technoeconomics, October 3, 2022.
Trends and Topics in International Law, WSBA webinar, September 9, 2022.
Protecting Your Brand & Intellectual Property, KushCon Tampa, August 6, 2022.
The Cannabis Revolution, Florida State University, July 21, 2022.
Southeast Asia intellectual property roadshow, USPTO webinar, July 18, 2022.
Challenges of Sourcing 5 Key Industrial Components in Mexico, East West Associates webinar, June 28, 2022.
Protecting, Monetizing and Enforcing Cannabis Intellectual Property, Harris Sliwoski webinar, June 14, 2022.
The Impact of Cannabis and Web3 Crossover: NFTs, DAOs, and Tokens, MyLawCLE, May 27, 2022.
Committee Insights: Protecting Innovations in Cannabis Technology, National Cannabis Industry Association, April 19, 2022.
Guest Lecturer, Copyright Licensing in China and Related Issues, University of California Berkeley School of Law, March 30, 2022.
Guest Lecturer, Intellectual Property and Cannabis, Willamette University College of Law, March 28, 2022.
IP and Trademark Protection in the Global Marketplace, Global Auto Industry Audio Interview, March 19, 2022.
Cannabis: A Global New High – Africa Panel, Clifford Chance Webinar, December 8, 2021.
China Update, Florida State University, December 6, 2021
Doing Business in the U.S. Market, Chamber of Commerce of Madrid, Madrid, Spain, November 4, 2021.
UMass Law International Law Virtual Career Conference, October 8, 2021.
IP Monetization 2021 Around The World, Technoeconomics 4th Annual Symposium, September 27, 2021
Reconfiguring Global Supply Chain Footprint, East West Associates webinar, June 24, 2021.
Padrón Nacional de Usarios de Telefonía Móvil, American Chamber of Commerce Mexico, May 26, 2021.
Evolución económica de Taiwán, Universidad Anáhuac, March 18, 2021.
Protecting and enforcing intellectual property rights in Southeast Asia: what small businesses need to know, United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), March 4, 2021.
Counseling Your First Cannabis Client: Marijuana vs. Hemp, State vs. Feds, and Other Key Issues, Washington State Bar Association, February 2, 2021.
China Roundtable: IP Monetization and Trade, Technoeconomics 3rd Annual Symposium, September 28, 2020.
Navigating PPE Purchases from China, HB Conferences Webinar, April 23, 2020.
Guest Lecturer, Comparative IPR Law, California Western School of Law, March 5, 2020.
Effects of COVID-19 on Doing Business with China, WTC Utah Webinar, March 19, 2020.
Protección de la propiedad intelectual: Diferentes perspectivas, Universidad Anáhuac, May 7, 2020.
The New Era of Doing Business in the US, Madrid Chamber of Commerce, Madrid, Spain, November 7, 2019.
Important Tips for Protecting your IP from China, GlobalAuto Industry Audio Interview, October 7, 2019.
The Fight Against Counterfeiting: Views from the Frontlines, Florida State University, March 1, 2018.
Why and How to Protect your Intellectual Property Internationally, GlobalAutoIndustry.com, September 3, 2023.
担心海外华人被变成“第五纵队”，中共新侨务立法努力引发西方关注 [Worried that overseas Chinese will be turned into the “fifth column”, the CCP’s new legislation on overseas Chinese affairs has attracted the attention of the West], VOA Chinese, April 29, 2023.
In China, Lawyers Don’t Need to Keep Your Secrets, The Diplomat, March 2, 2023.
One year on: TMA proceedings serve purpose but aren’t shoo-ins, Managing IP, January 20, 2023.
AD/CVD Proceedings Likely if Cannabis Made Legal to Import, Trade Lawyer Says, Trade Law Daily, December 2, 2022.
Navigating the haze of US cannabis TM law, World IP Review, November 18, 2022.
Weed Is Now Legal in Thailand. How Long Will the High Times Last?, The New York Times, November 10, 2022.
Joe Biden estaria usando a cannabis?, Poder360, October 14, 2022.
Customs Targets Thousands of Suspected Forced-Labor Shipments Under New Bill, The Dispatch, September 27, 2022.
Taiwan’s foreign firms weigh future amid China risk, COVID curbs, Al Jazeera, August 19, 2022.
Lawmakers Should Clarify Drug Paraphernalia Import Provisions, Trade Law Daily, August 17, 2022.
Delta-8 THC: At The Nexus Of Legality, Lawsuits, Media Post, June 3, 2022.
Man Recounts Forced Labor Experience In China, NTD, May 10, 2022.
Biden Warns China on its Chummy Relationship With Russia, The Dispatch, March 21, 2022.
Hackers Are Stealing NFTs, and It’s Not As Easy as You Think, HackerNoon, March 14, 2022.
Solar Supply Chains Move Away from China, NTD, January 27, 2022.
Businesses Consider Leaving China for Mexico, NTD, January 6, 2022.
China’s Housing Market Is on Course to Crash, The Dispatch, October 14, 2021.
China Deploys Aircraft Near Taiwan, The Dispatch, October 5, 2021.
China’s pricey ultimatum, World News, July 29, 2021.
Cointreau, Mars Wrigley File Trademark Suits Against Cannabis/CBD Companies, Media Post, July 29, 2021.
How China Uses Forced Labor in Xinjiang, NTD, May 18, 2021.
USPTO Refusal To Register Cannabis TMs Hurts Public, Law360, May 3, 2021.
“The Morning Dispatch: China Provokes Taiwan With Airspace Incursion“, The Dispatch, April 12, 2021.
China Continues to Crack Down on Hong Kong and Uyghurs. Should the U.S. Boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing? The Dispatch, March 12, 2021.
China awaits a new US ambassador as names circulate in Washington, South China Morning Post. February 24, 2021.
U.S. Military Posturing Across the Globe, The Dispatch, December 23, 2020.
The Last Vaccine Hurdle, The Dispatch, December 4, 2020.
Wilbur Ross Remained on Chinese Joint Venture Board While Running U.S.-China Trade War, Foreign Policy, October 29, 2020.
‘‘You Work Like Animals’: Inside China’s Vast Prison Labor System, Epoch Times, September 2, 2020.
Xinjiang’s sprawling conglomerate may be biggest ever to face US sanctions, South China Morning Post, August 24, 2020.
Security law, US sanctions complicate operations for HK fund firms, Ignites Asia, July 21, 2020.
China’s Crackdown on Hong Kong Is About Intimidation, The Dispatch, July 3, 2020.
Hong Kong’s National Security Law Has Left Lawyers Uneasy, Law360, June 9, 2020.
Sanctions, new tariffs? What it means for US to certify Hong Kong as not autonomous from China, The Straits Times, May 28, 2020.
Is China the answer?, Caribbean Business, September 26, 2013.
Get that binder ready, Caribbean Business, September 26, 2013.
Regulation Takes A Great Leap Forward – (plus other contributions), Florida Bar International Law Quarterly, Fall 2023.
Taste the injunction: unsweet ending for Skittles infringer, Trademark Lawyer Magazine, July 20, 2023.
China proposes revision of country’s trademark law, Florida Bar International Law Quarterly, Spring 2023.
People’s Republic of China Revises Women’s Protection Law, Florida Bar International Law Quarterly, Winter 2023.
China’s amended Anti-Monopoly Law takes effect, International Law Quarterly, Fall 2022.
Counterfeit Corner, The Licensing Journal, September 2022.
Trademark Licensing in the Cannabis Industry, Thomas Reuters Practical Law, (maintained)
USPTO Refusal To Register Cannabis TMs Hurts Public, Law360, May 3, 2021.*
*Selected as one of Law360’s top 2021 guest articles on cannabis
Successfully petitioned the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) to invalidate two trademark registrations, removing a block to the extension of our client’s international registration to China.
Represented a U.S. business in one of the first successful expungement proceedings under the Trademark Modernization Act, clearing the way for registration of the client’s trademark.
Represented a foreign company before U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in its successful petition to lift a forced labor Withhold Release Order (WRO).
Served as expert witness on issues relating to China trademark law in an arbitration proceeding with seat in Texas.
Hispanic National Bar Association
World Affairs Council of Miami
International Trademark Association
Emerging Issues Committee
Asociación Interamericana de la Propiedad Intelectual
- Anti-Piracy Committee
Washington State Bar Association
International Practice Section (Executive Committee At-Large Member)
Intellectual Property Section
Liquor, Cannabis, and Psychedelics Law Section
The Florida Bar
- International Law Section (Asia and Foreign Legal Consultants committees)
- Asia Committee (Co-Chair)
- Foreign Legal Consultants Committee
- Business Law Section
Certificate in Chinese IP Law, Berkeley Center for Law & Technology
- University of Notre Dame Law School (J.D.)
- The Chinese University of Hong Kong (L.L.M., Chinese Business Law)
- University of Michigan (B.A.)
- London School of Economics (General Course)
Bar & Court Admissions
- Florida (2002)
- District of Columbia (2011)
- Washington State (2012)
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida (2021)
- Spanish (Fluent)
- Chinese (Intermediate)