No matter where you are on this topic, the last decade has been fraught with the argument of whether cannabis should be legal or not. Smart Money knows this issue is not an argument any longer, at least from a state-by-state standpoint. In a dozen states, products containing cannabinoids are legal, whether by prescription or purely recreational. This should prompt the intellectual property community to pay attention to the use of cannabis-related marks being used in commerce. Yes, it is true that products laced with actual cannabis cannot be registered as trademarks with the USPTO… But:
- Companies that facilitate many of its uses can still file with the USPTO
- On a state-by-state level, trademarks and business names can still be filed
- No matter what the law is, there are still manufacturers of cannabinoids that will infringe on famous marks
It's a good thing that you are reading this. Although never a user of cannabinoids, our Founder & CEO Rob Holmes, was tasked by an Intellectual Property client in recent years to track manufacturers of cannabinoids. Given his twenty-plus years in the trademark business, his ability to blend into any culture, and his location in Los Angeles, he has been able to crack some of the world's most interesting trademark cases involving cannabis. Currently, he is accepted and known in this world and knows all the jargon the pot folks use.
Not only has Rob Holmes been the leading trademark in-use investigator since the early 90s, he is also the only licensed trademark investigator in Southern California that retains an active license to enter these regulated facilities and also thoroughly knows the trademark industry. Since the federal government has not acknowledged cannabis and a legitimate commodity, for now it will be a state issue and also a civil issue. This means that attorneys for every major brand need to be on the ball. The concerns for brand owners and their attorneys should be threefold. First, is anyone infringing on my client's marks in a particular state? Second, what is my client working on in this area? Third, how solid is my case?
Believe us, we have seen every angle here and we are more prepared than the competition. Hit us up and we will help you figure it out and get things managed.