The Supremacy Clause and Trademarks: Why State Cannabis Legalization Isn’t Enough for a Federal Trademark 

Recently, we published an article regarding the increasing viability of cannabis related patents. See here. Sadly, the story is the opposite for federal trademarks. Last month, National Concessions Group, Inc. (“NCG”) was denied federal registration for its trademarks: BAKKED and

(collectively the “Marks”) by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). Continue Reading Indica and IP – A Series on the Intersection of Cannabis and Intellectual Property

Federal bans, lack of knowledge, and misinformation all stifle IP protection in the cannabis industry. Previously, one of our colleagues attended MJBizCon in Nevada and noted that “there is so much more to be done to bring this industry on par with other advanced industries that rely on IP to protect innovation and provide commercial advantage.” https://www.blunttruthlaw.com/2022/11/flowers-gummies-an-ip-lawyers-impressions-of-mjbizcon/. After attending the New England Cannabis Convention (“NECANN”) in Boston, we are pleased to observe that the industry appears to be making headway to address these trailing efforts.Continue Reading The Blooming Field of IP at the New England Cannabis Convention in Boston

Cannabis has become a growing sector for investment with increased focus by investors and entrepreneurs. See our colleague’s impressions from the 2022 MJ BizCon cannabis conference here. With the increased funding pouring into this sector has come a desire to protect the intellectual property in the products, research, and developments brought to market. Previously, patents—a limited monopoly allowing a patent holder to bar competitors from making/using/selling/importing a claimed system or method—were of limited use for those in the cannabis industry.Continue Reading What CannI Say? Litigating Cannabis Patents In District Court

Co-authored by Ruth Fisher, PhD

The following post explores the bioavailability and efficacy of various cannabis products, followed by a brief overview of the legal protection afforded to each as an intellectual property asset.

Over the millennia, our bodies have evolved to better protect themselves. Protection from outside our bodies comes from our skin, which creates a barrier that’s quite difficult to penetrate by most foreign substances (pathogens). Protection from within our bodies comes from barriers (epithelial tissues) that line all our internal organs and pathways, to make sure nothing penetrates areas it should not. The result of all this protection is that it can be difficult for cannabis substances to penetrate our bodies and travel to the sites needed to generate their effects.Continue Reading Technologies for Enhancing Cannabis Bioavailability and Their Legal Methods of Protection

Despite legislative uncertainty (e.g., bills that have been passed, multiple times, but not become law), a wide range of brilliant entrepreneurs, industrial companies, investment mavens, and service providers have been consciously and conscientiously advancing the US cannabis industry’s interests.

MJBizCon and CannaVest West are proof positive – the breadth, depth, and sophistication of cannabis-related products, services, and innovations on display was truly staggering.Continue Reading Flowers, Gummies & An IP Lawyer’s Impressions of MJBizCon

Strong intellectual property is the cornerstone of most start-up companies, and in most cases it is the key asset utilized by companies in securing financing and investment.  Studies have estimated that non-tangible assets represent over 80% of an average business’ value, and when it comes to startups, the number is even higher.[1]  The marijuana industry, because of its uncertain legal status under federal law, is at a strategic disadvantage, but despite this fact, the industry has still continued to blossom and is currently valued at $6.7 B and is expected to rise to almost $20 B by 2020.[2]  However, failure to secure traditional forms of intellectual property (i.e., patents, trademarks, and copyrights) should not dissuade marijuana entrepreneurs from the inherent value intellectual property.  Developing a keen business strategy around both traditional and non-traditional forms of intellectual property can open the door to additional revenue opportunities.
Continue Reading Unharvested Opportunities for the Marijuana Industry – Exploiting Non-Traditional Forms of Intellectual Property

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB” or the “Board”) recently affirmed two refusals to register trademarks:

1) an intent-to-use trademark application for POWERED BY JUJU for “smokeless cannabis vaporizing apparatus, namely, oral vaporizers for smoking purposes; vaporizing cannabis delivery device, namely, oral vaporizers for smoking purposes”, initially refused based on a lack of bona fide intent to use the mark in lawful commerce; and

2) a use-based application for JUJU JOINTS for “smokeless marijuana or cannabis vaporizer apparatus, namely, oral vaporizers for smokers; vaporizing marijuana or cannabis delivery device, namely, oral vaporizers for smoking purposes”, initially refused based on lack of lawful use in U.S. commerce.
Continue Reading Bad JuJu: No Federal Trademark Protection for Marks Covering Marijuana Vaporizers

Earlier this month, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) issued a decision that presents relevant considerations for those in the fast-growing marijuana industry.  In the decision (In re Morgan Brown), the TTAB affirmed the rejection of a service mark application to register the below HERBAL ACCESS & Design mark in connection with “retail store services featuring herbs” because the TTAB found that the mark was actually being used in connection with the sale of marijuana.

herbalaccessContinue Reading Marijuana Trademark Registration Strategies – July 2016 Update