Republic Technologies (NA) LLC (“Republic”) filed an application to register the proposed mark 4:20 with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). Republic amended its goods twice during prosecution of the application and ultimately sought to register “tobacco; cigarette papers; cigarette filters; cigarette tubes; cigarette rolling machines; handheld machines for injecting tobacco into cigarette tubes; machines allowing smokers to make cigarettes by themselves; none of the foregoing containing or for use with cannabis” (emphasis added). The USPTO alleged that consumers would understand 4:20 to mean cannabis, the mark misdescribes non-cannabis related goods, and consumers would believe the misrepresentation. Therefore, the USPTO refused registration alleging that the mark was deceptively misdescriptive of the goods in the application. Republic appealed the decision to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”). But the Board saw through the smoke of Republic’s arguments and affirmed the refusal. Continue Reading 4:20 Unfriendly – TTAB Says 4:20 is Deceptively Misdescriptive of Goods Not Used with Cannabis
A Texas appellate court recently upheld a decision to prevent a ban on the sale of delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products in the state. Tex. Dep’t of State Health Servs. v. Sky Mktg. Corp., No. 03-21-00571-CV, 2023 BL 341460, 2023 TX App Lexis 7448. The decision allows cannabis companies to continue selling delta-8 THC goods in Texas and establish a reputation for their brands. In contrast, delta-9 THC remains federally illegal and banned from sale under the Controlled Substances Act. Delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC are distinct cannabinoids (i.e., compounds) in the cannabis plant. However, the legality of the delta-8 industry remains clouded in smoke. This case, and its counterpart in Virginia, could have a significant impact on brand owners’ ability to establish rights in their cannabis-related trademarks.Continue Reading What’s the Delta? How Delta-8 Can Provide Trademark Rights for Hemp and Marijuana
A recent lawsuit alleging trademark infringement by AmerikanWeed illustrates the importance of protecting intellectual property in the cannabis industry. Complaint at 9-10, Palmer, et al. v. Komm et al., No. 21-2-13589-3 SEA (Wa. Sup. Ct. filed Jun 21, 2023). Because the plaintiffs obtained a Washington state trademark registration, their recourse is limited to that state. To have recourse against infringement outside Washington, a federal registration may provide additional remedies—if it can be obtained. A recent precedential decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) highlights some of the pitfalls to avoid if pursuing federal registration.Continue Reading Blunders That Made ‘Bakked’ Cannabis TM Go Up In Smoke
As we previously reported, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a trademark examination guide last year, broadening the class of cannabis-related goods for which cannabis companies could register their trademarks. The examination guide explained that, because certain hemp-based products with less than 0.3% THC–including CBD–are no longer controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), companies…
On January 1, 2020, the recreational use of marijuana will be legal under Illinois law. With the formal enactment of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, it is expected that numerous new companies will be gearing up to enter the Prairie State’s burgeoning cannabis market. As with any new business, one of the first things for owners to consider is the company’s brand, what it will be called and how best to protect it from would-be infringers.
Continue Reading Brand Protection for Illinois’ Budding Cannabis Industry
It is well known that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) does not allow federal registration for cannabis-related trademarks (discussed by this blog here and here). Some commenters have speculated that, because courts have been chipping away at the bans on immoral, scandalous, and disparaging trademarks, the ban on federal trademark registrations related to illegal activity may be next.
Continue Reading Likely to be Dazed and Confused: the Hazy Future of Cannabis-related Trademarks
Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.
Starting off in the international sphere, the European Parliament has passed a resolution recommending the descheduling of cannabis. The hope is that this could lead to the establishment of bloc-wide medical marijuana laws.
In South Korea, medical marijuana will …
Continue Reading The Week in Weed: February 22, 2019
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