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March 2019 MCLE Luncheon with Dale C. Hunt

March 14 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Our next MCLE lunchtime program will be on Thursday, March 14, 2019, at 12:00 pm at the Manhattan of La Jolla restaurant, within the Empress Hotel at 7766 Fay Avenue.

We are very pleased to have DALE C. HUNT, PhD, Registered Patent Attorney, and Principal of Plant and Planet Law Firm, as our March speaker, presenting: “PATENTING IN THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY – ITS UNIQUE CHALLENGES & OPPORTUNITIES”

Dr. Hunt’s presentation will include discussion of the following:

1.  The United State’s Patent Office’s hostility toward Cannabis trademarks as opposed to its receptiveness to to Cannabis patents, and the statutory basis for it;

2.  Why patenting in the Cannabis industry faces challenges that no other industry has ever faced, and will for a generation at least, and what you should tell your clients about it (either as patent applicants, or as patent-infringement defendants);

3.  The basics of Cannabis biology, and why you should know it as both a lawyer and consumer – i.e., why THC gets people “high” and CBD “cures everything.” and why the next few cannabinoids will become huge investment opportunities and the related legal implications.

Note:  The program is anticipated to provide 1.0 hr general credit CLE, its length might slightly exceed one hour. 

Information about our Speaker, Dale C. Hunt:

Dale provides guidance and expertise on patents and intellectual property matters.  Dale has extensive experience with patent protection, with a technical emphasis in life sciences (cellular biology, genetics, genomics, immunology, microbiology, molecular biology, pharmaceuticals, protein engineering, stem cells, transgenics and vaccines); environmental technology (alternative energy, carbon-emissions credits and exchanges, oil and gas technologies, solar energy, natural products and water purification systems); materials and manufacturing (filters and filtration systems, metal fibers and alloys); medical devices and procedures (nucleic acid diagnostics, sensors and instrumentation and surgical devices and methods); and plants (agriculture, plant genetics, plant patents and plant-variety protection).  Dale also has experience with patent portfolio management and strategy advice, international intellectual property matters, right-to-practice and product-launch opinions, intellectual property due diligence, and licensing.

Dale also started a Cannabis  IP practice to aid clients in establishing intellectual property protection for their legal marijuana strains, products and businesses.  The approaches to such protection include U.S. plant patents and utility patents; state and common law trademark strategies, protection, and enforcement; and federal trademark protection for federally legal allied products and services.  His expertise also extends to other forms of protection for  Cannabis  businesses, including licensing of intellectual property, which can encompass protection of know-how and trade secrets related to cultivation and processing techniques; international plant breeders’ rights and related commercialization and enforcement strategies; as well as various other approaches that have been successful for his clients in the fruit and floral markets but which  Cannabis companies have yet to attempt.

Dale’s introduction to the Cannabis industry came as a policy advisor to the Open Cannabis Project; he is now a member of OCP’s Board of Directors.  He fully supports the goals of free access to the public domain in the Cannabis industry and created (and privately funded) MJPatentsWeekly.com in part to promote a conversation about crowdsourcing the prior art in an industry that uniquely lacks a significant published history of its commercial activity.  While Dale is a strong believer in the value of the patent system, he maintains that the system is only as valid as the patents it issues.  Plant & Planet will always work with its clients to obtain valid patents that cover their inventions without reading on what is in the public domain.  This ethical approach to IP avoids wasting investor resources and undermining our clients’ goodwill and reputation in the Cannabis community.  It is one of the ways that Our Clients Make the Planet Better.

Having started as a botanist and plant geneticist, Dale continued his study of plant biology at the cellular and molecular level, completing a PhD at UC San Diego.  Dale then went on to UC Berkeley for law school.   In addition to his diverse patent practice as described above, he has worked his entire career helping clients  protect and commercialize their proprietary plant varieties in the US and over 20 foreign countries.  Dale has spoken on Cannabis IP protection at the Marijuana Business Convention, Cannabis IP and Open Source at the Emerald Cup, and will lead a panel discussion on Cannabis and university research at the National Meeting of the Association of University Technology Managers.  He has also been interviewed for and quoted in numerous news articles and by national media outlets on the topic of marijuana and patenting.

Professional History:

      • Founder, Plant & Planet Law Firm, 2019
      • Partner, Hahn Loeser and Parks LLP, 2015-2019
      • Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, 2008-2015
      • Partner, Sonnenschein Nath and Rosenthal LLP, 2007-2008
      • Partner, Knobbe Martens Olson and Bear LLP, 2001-2007; Associate, 1996-2000


      • JD – law, University of California Berkeley
      • PhD – molecular/cellular biology, University of California San Diego
      • MS – plant genetics, Brigham Young University
      • BS – Botany, Brigham Young University



March 14
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Event Categories:


Manhattan Restaurant at the Empress Hotel
7766 Fay Avenue
La Jolla, CA 92037 United States
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