Intellectual Property

While the legal limbo surrounding the cannabis industry does not expressly prohibit plant and product patents for marijuana-related products, it may keep trademark and trade secret protection out of reach for cannabis entrepreneurs.

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When States of Mind Collide: USPTO Rejects MARIJUANAVILLE as Confusingly Similar to MARGARITAVILLE

By Josh Cohen, Wendel Rosen

On March 16, 2017, the USPTO refused to allow a trademark registration for MARIJUANAVILLE for a company that manufactures and sells clothing. The owner of the mark “Margaritaville” had opposed the application, and the USPTO concluded the commercial impression of the marks is highly similar––“a chemically induced mental paradise.” Josh Cohen of Wendel Rosen gives us the details.

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Cannabis Trademarks and California’s Voluntary Limitations on Market Protection

by Mary L. Shapiro, Esq.

Although 20 years ago, California was the first state to establish a medical cannabis program to aid patients suffering from cancer, AIDS, and other chronic illnesses, California’s strict prohibition of cannabis-related trademarks is in stark contrast to trademark standards in many other states that legalized cannabis more recently. Shapiro discusses the California policy and the reasons behind it.

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Protecting Your Client’s Canna Brand

by James Marion, Esq.

In this ongoing uncertainty and conflict between state and federal law, what can cannabis companies do to protect their brands? Jeff Marion explains how choosing a successful trademark strategy depends largely on the specific nature of the product, such as goods and services that do not “touch the plant.”

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OPINION: In re Christopher C. Hinton

116 USPQ2d 1051 [precedential] (TTAB 2015)

“TeaHC” without THC rejected as beverage trademark because that consumers are likely to believe the misrepresentation made by the mark.

Marijuana Patent Applications Face Tough Road At USPTO

By Law360

The USPTO has started receiving applications for patents on new types of marijuana plants, and attorneys say that the federal government's classification of the drug as illegal could make obtaining a patent difficult, though nothing in the law expressly bars patent protection for illegal substances. (Subscription Required)

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Web Site: America's Weed Rush

This investigation of marijuana legalization in America is the 2015 project of the Carnegie-Knight News21 program, a national multimedia investigative reporting project produced by the nation’s top journalism students and graduates.

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