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Dallas Business Lawyer Rounds Up 2018’s Most Interesting Business Law Stories – Part 2

Dallas business law attorney, Richard “Ric” Armstrong, continues his discussion about the year’s most interesting business law stories.

Many intriguing business law stories have hit the news this year, more than we could cover in one or two blog posts. Let’s continue looking at a selection of the most poignant stories and what we can learn from them.

Marijuana Industry Sees Exponential Growth During Trump Administration

While no specific stories related to the pot industry stand out to us, the growth of the legal marijuana industry in the U.S. is news in and of itself—and a topic we can expect to be discussing for years to come. Nine states and the District of Columbia have officially legalized marijuana for recreational use, and many others allow it for medicinal purposes. What makes this story intriguing is that the growth of the pot industry stands in stark incongruence with federal law enforcement, which still classifies marijuana as a controlled substance and can override state law. And yet, while Attorney General Jeff Sessions vehemently opposes marijuana legalization, the Trump administration has ironically taken a hands-off policy on the issue, opening the gate for continued growth for a controversial industry that is already billions of dollars strong.

Takeaway: This issue reminds us that state and federal laws don’t always agree, and it is theoretically possible to be caught in the crossfire between them. Watch for plenty of news about this industry in years to come.

Kentucky Liquor Firm Sues Bob Dylan’s Whiskey Brand for Copyright Infringement

In April of this year, folk icon Bob Dylan co-created and launched a whiskey and bourbon company under the name “Heaven’s Door Spirits, LLC.” Obviously named after one of the singer’s most famed hits, “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” the company likely wasn’t expecting another liquor company to take umbrage at its name. However, this month, Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc., filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Dylan and company, claiming the company’s name and block-letter logo are too similar to their own. Heaven’s Door previously resisted a cease-and-desist letter, claiming it believed consumers would not confuse the two brands.

Takeaway: No matter how “famous” you think your brand will be, always check existing names. You never know who might be doing a similar business under a similar name.

When in doubt about a business law issue, don’t make guesses—get help from a Dallas business law attorney. Call Armstrong the Law Firm, P.C., at 972-424-L-A-W-S (5297).

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