Lane Powell PC - Food, Beverage and Hospitality Law Blog

Patenting the Potato: “Not All Taters are Created Equal”

Wearing a McDonald’s blue garrison-style hat—red hats signified management—I often worked at the french fry station during my pimply high school years in the 1970s. If you had asked me anything about the julienned potatoes I…more
| Agriculture, Intellectual Property, Science, Computers, & Technology

Transgenic Salmon: A Primer on FDA Food Safety Regulations

When Meriwether Lewis tasted his first roasted morsel of a fresh Chinook salmon at a Shoshone camp along the Lemhi River (in modern day Idaho), he ate it with “very good relish.” It convinced him that “we were on the waters of…more
| Administrative Law, Agriculture, Science, Computers, & Technology

Assessing the Validity of Food Processing Patents, Post-Alice

Patent eligibility is in a state of flux. Software and business method innovations challenge the boundary of what is patentable under U.S. law. That dividing line is crossed when inventors claim exclusive rights in what really…more
| Civil Procedure, Intellectual Property, Science, Computers, & Technology

Trademarks as a Barometer of Change: A Pop Quiz

Designed to appeal and speak to the customers of a specific time and place, trademarks can become hallmarks of a bygone era. The controversy surrounding the use of the REDSKINS trademark and logo shows just how much the…more
| Communications & Media Law, Intellectual Property

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: The California Strawberry Commission’s Claim to University Plant Breeding Research

Plant patents are often overshadowed by their more well-known utility and design patent counterparts under U.S. law. Yet, with the increasing branding and differentiation of agricultural commodities, plant patent rights drive…more
| Agriculture, Civil Procedure, Commercial Law & Contracts, Education, Intellectual Property

Not-So-Sweet Smell of Success: When Does Ambient Scent Marketing Become a Deceptive Trade Practice?

Scent marketing is as old as a realtor baking cookies in a house up for sale and as new as Oscar Mayer’s “bacon” alarm clock. Harnessing the primal power of smell represents a final frontier of subliminal advertising…more
| Antitrust & Trade Regulation, Communications & Media Law, Consumer Protection

Strawberry Patent Rights, Forever

Ripe strawberries define lusciousness. Fragile, with fleeting taste, these heart-shaped berries inspired Shakespeare’s pen: “The strawberry grows underneath the nettle; and wholesome berries thrive and ripen best; neighbour’d…more
| Agriculture, Intellectual Property

Will the Recent Scientific Attack on Vitamin Use Spawn a New Wave of False Advertising Litigation?

For centuries, we’ve ingested magic elixirs in pill and syrupy forms to cure whatever ails us and to ward off future illness. Hard scientific evidence of efficacy may have been lacking for these nostrums, but lingering doubts…more
| Administrative Law, Communications & Media Law, Health, Science, Computers, & Technology

“Faux” Foods and False Advertising Claims: A New Recipe for Whipping Up Lawsuits

With an era of 3D printable food dawning, the Star Trek “food replicator” is beginning to look more like modern reality instead of the stuff of science fiction. Every day and in every way, food scientists and flavor…more
| Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Intellectual Property

Why Does Food Mislabeling Outrage Consumers?

“There’s a Chinese restaurant on every block, and if you think mouths won’t water when you come strolling by, then you don’t know squat about Oriental cuisine. They prize the taste of dog, friend. The chefs round up strays and…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Communications & Media Law, Consumer Protection

Antitrust Monopolization Considerations in Licensing Cutting-Edge Food Technology Patents

The term pioneer patent is often misapplied with hyperbole and exaggeration. When it comes to the shrimp peeling machine invented by Fernand and James Lapeyre, however, that blockbuster label is spot-on. Their automated way…more
| Administrative Law, Antitrust & Trade Regulation, Commercial Law & Contracts, Intellectual Property, Science, Computers, & Technology

So, Are Organic Foods Really Safer and Healthier For Us After All?

Some of America’s best organic and sustainable food research is being conducted by the faculty, students and staff of Washington State University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources. As Washington’s…more
| Agriculture, Commercial Law & Contracts, Education

“Hey Barkeep, Pour Me A Pint of…”: Trademark Tips for Microbreweries

For microbrewers, taste and memorable names mean everything. Loyal customers often ask for specific brews and word-of-mouth advertising is indispensable, since microbrews are often purchased in local restaurants and bars. …more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Communications & Media Law, Intellectual Property

The Growing Allure of Plant Patenting for Brand Differentiation

Plant patents occupy a seldom studied corner of potential patent protection. But plant patenting is taking on new importance as growers and producers of fruits and vegetables—once branded only as commodities—take advantage of…more
| Communications & Media Law, Intellectual Property

Patenting Enhanced Taste and Food Processing: Some Engaging Current Developments

Patenting food processing and flavor-enhancing techniques is a cutting-edge legal endeavor. This article reviews some fascinating new developments in food processing technology and patent litigation…more
| Administrative Law, Health, Intellectual Property, Science, Computers, & Technology
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