uspto

USPTO’s Abuse of the “Lawful Use” Trademark Registration Standard

Lawful use in commerce is a requirement for a trademark to be registered in the United States. For cannabis brands, this means that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will not register trademarks used in connection with products that are illegal under federal law, most notably marijuana. However, USPTO’s problematic approach to lawful

trademark parody

Cannabis Branding: U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Parody Trademark Case

Cannabis brands are known for clever branding and advertising. In some instances, this gets cannabis companies in trouble. See Cannabis Trademark Litigation: Wrigley Wins. Sometimes cannabis companies try to hew the parody line when riffing on an existing trademark. See Reminder: The Parody Defense to Trademark Infringement is Tricky. As my cannabis litigation colleague, Jihee

trademark infringement

Edible Arrangements v. Green Thumb Industries: Voluntary Dismissal, For Now

We regularly cover intellectual property disputes on the blog, and the Edible Arrangements v. Green Thumb Industries trademark infringement case is one we covered two years ago when filed. Since then, this case appears to have been moderately active, with the parties engaging in the usual discovery and related motion practice. However, things did take

cannabis genes

Patenting Cannabis Genes: Three Ways To Protect New Cultivars

Many cannabis companies spend significant resources developing new cannabis cultivars or refining popular strain genetics. As they do so, more and more are looking for strategies to protect those investments. Plant patents for purportedly novel cannabis plants are increasingly common, but are plant patents really the best way to protect cannabis genes? In addition to

federal or state trademark

Federal or State Trademark Registrations?

Federal or state trademarks, which should I register? This is a question we regularly get in our IP practice. For cannabis brands in particular, the answer is often straightforward. The lawful use requirement The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is responsible for registering trademarks at the federal level. According to the Trademark Act

uspto tobacco

Tobacco Paraphernalia? Prove It.

Tobacco paraphernalia is in many cases indistinguishable from cannabis paraphernalia, especially when products are unconnected to specific consumers. If an item can be used in both lawful and unlawful ways, it seems illogical to classify it as drug paraphernalia, unless the item is connected to illegal activity. Yet the approach of the U.S. federal authorities

deceptive trademark

Deceptive Matter and Canna Brands

Deceptive matter is yet another pitfall faced by canna brands as they take steps to protect their intellectual property. According to the U.S. Trademark Act (commonly known as the Lanham Act), such matter may not be registered as a trademark (15 U.S.C. § 1052(a)). While to some extent this is a commonsense rule that seeks

wrigley

Cannabis Trademark Litigation: Wrigley Wins

A final judgment recently rendered in WM. Wrigley Jr. Company v. Roberto Conde, et al., is nothing short of a cautionary tale and a powerful reminder to cannabis companies: Parody is NOT a defense to trademark infringement in this type of commercial context. The parties We all know Wrigley – it’s a titan in the

cannabis brand

Goods and Services and Canna Trademarks

Goods and services (G&S) identifications are a critical part of a cannabis trademark application, as with any other trademark application. An improper identification can delay an application, and in the worst cases prove fatal. Cannabis brands in particular have to be very careful when it comes to G&S. Trademark rights are linked to specific goods

cannabis patent litigation

Utility Patent Owner Targets Cannabis Producer

While patent protection has been generally available for some time now, we’ve covered why patent protection has been largely limited for the cannabis industry (see this post). However, that isn’t going to stop patent infringement actions from reaching cannabis businesses, as can be seen from a recent case filed by a greenhouse builder. The complaint