Photo of Mike Annis

Mike advises clients on patent infringement, trade secret misappropriation, trademark and service mark infringement, unfair competition and false advertising claims.

On May 26, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued Warning Letters to four companies[1] concerning the illegal sale of unapproved animal drugs containing cannabidiol (CBD) intended for use in food-producing animals. These Warning Letters demonstrate the first time the FDA chose to focus on marketing CBD-containing products for use in food-producing animals, as opposed to pets, and the specific concerns related to such use. Food-producing animals, as defined by the FDA, include cattle (veal calves, beef cattle, and dairy cattle), swine, chickens, turkeys, and others (such as lambs).
Continue Reading FDA Issues Warning Letters to Companies Whose Products Are Intended for Use with Food-Producing Animals

Husch Blackwell Partner Michael Annis and Senior Associate Emily Lyons are slated to provide five On-Demand Webinar Sessions at this year’s Digital Animal Health Summit hosted by the KC Animal Health Corridor on August 24, 2021.

The Digital Animal Health Summit features 1:1 business partnering, on-demand webinars, emerging company presentations and live stream programming with industry leaders. The Summit brings together organizations from within the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor, which is home to more than 300 animal health companies, representing the largest concentration in the world.
Continue Reading Lyons & Annis to speak at Digital Animal Health Summit

Have you ever heard the term, “smells like money”?  Under the ever-changing economic landscape affecting farmers throughout the country, many are looking to diversify their agricultural operation from an exclusive row-crop operation to include livestock production. 
Continue Reading From Corn to Cattle: Under Right-to-Farm Act Laws, Farmers May Have Flexibility to Diversify and Expand Their Farming Operation

Earlier this year, a class action complaint was filed against Coca-Cola and one of its subsidiaries, Fairlife LLC, alleging false advertising for selling “humanely sourced” milk. Why false? According to the complaint, which was filed in June, the dairy cows milked at Fairlife’s flagship farm were subjected to allegedly “horrendous animal abuse,” despite Fairlife’s claims in its advertising and on its labels that its animals lived in “extraordinary care and comfort.”

Continue Reading Spoiled Milk: A Cautionary Tale of Advertising and Labeling for the Animal Products Industry

Avoiding Trademark Disputes in the Alcoholic Beverage Industry

In the first installment of our series on trademark disputes in the alcoholic beverage industry, we identified the risks facing industry participants on the branding front, regardless if they are “entrepreneurs” entering the market for the first time or established companies launching a new brand.  As we advised, the risks are significant and have the potential to completely derail your new brand.

Continue Reading Steer Clear with Your Beer Branding

We are approximately nine months into FDA’s animal feed and pet food facility inspections for compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Preventive Controls for Animal Food (PC) rule. With PC inspections starting for small businesses this Fall, there are a few lessons we have learned from the inspections that have occurred to date.

Continue Reading Is Your Animal Food Safety Plan up to Snuff?

Avoiding Trademark Disputes in the Beverage Alcohol Industry

It is undeniable that craft beverage marketplace – both with beer and spirits – has seen tremendous growth over the past several years. The result is a crowded, somewhat confused and competitive environment where standing out from the crowd is increasingly challenging. While producing a quality product is, of course, paramount, developing a distinctive and eye-catching brand for your latest beer, wine, or craft spirit has become a critical component to success in the industry. In the beverage alcohol business, brand is (nearly) everything. Ideally, that brand will provide a springboard toward future expansion of your product line as the brand becomes known in the market and specifically requested by consumers.
Continue Reading Steer Clear with Your Beer Branding

Since enactment of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (the “2018 Farm Bill”), confusion has run rampant over when and where hemp or hemp produced cannabidiol (CBD) can legally be used. Animal food and feed are no exception. Developments at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as the actions taken by the Association of Animal Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), should be of particular interest to animal feed and pet food manufacturers interested in expanding into the so-called green rush.  Industry participants should take notice of these changes and evaluate the impact they have on their businesses.
Continue Reading CBD in your Animal Food or Feed? Not So Fast.