Mulling the future for marijuana IP


Mulling the future for marijuana IP

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While cannabis companies in the US can’t protect their brands with federal trademark protection, there are other options for them when seeking IP rights, as LSIPR finds out.

On October 17, many Canadians will no doubt rejoice as the country makes the recreational use of cannabis legal.

While several countries, including Belgium, Chile and Mexico, have adopted a policy to decriminalise the possession of small amounts of cannabis, and others have legalised the medical use of it, Canada will be only the third country to legalise it for recreational use. The other two countries are Georgia and Uruguay (while Israel is set to follow suit in 2019).

Trailing behind Canada’s liberal approach is its neighbour, the US, where cannabis is illegal under federal law; however, some states have legalised cannabis for recreational use. As the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will not register trademarks for goods and services that cannot be lawfully regulated by US Congress, cannabis-related products will not be granted trademark protection.

Cannabis, marijuana, federal trademark protection, Canada, US Patent and Trademark Office, illegal activity, Dykema, Cole Schotz, branding, trademarks