Cannabis Trademark & Branding
Cannabis Trademark & Branding
The legalization of cannabis has created a vast and rapidly growing industry that, by its very newness, is attracting many of the most creative and innovative entrepreneurs, scientists and business executives at work today.
Their creativity has resulted in the creation of new product formulations, regulatory compliance software, new methods for growing crops, astounding work on plant genetics, creative payments systems to work around the industry’s banking challenges and some of the most creative marketing being done in any industry.
All of this intellectual property (IP) is valuable, sometimes far more so than its creators realize. Consequently, it is not unusual for valuable IP to be inadequately protected. Protecting cannabis IP and cannabis trademarks is complicated by the plant’s unique status as illegal under federal law, legal for medical use is most states and legal for both medical and adult use in just 11 states. The cannabis trademark attorneys of Cultiva Law are nonetheless skilled at registering and effectively protecting IP under under trademark, copyright and trade secret laws — despite the impediments created by federal law.
Our areas of practice include every aspect of Cannabis Trademark Law:
Trademark registration, protection, and enforcement
Copyright registration, protection and enforcement
Trade secret protection and disputes
Domain name registration and disputes
Trademark and copyright licensing
Trademark and copyright litigation
Can you trademark a cannabis brand?
Trademarks are fundamental to building a brand but, because marijuana remains a Schedule 1 drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will not register trademarks for cannabis products containing THC, including those which are wholly legal under state law. Trademarks can, however, be registered in the states where the product is legal. Cultiva Law’s cannabis trademark attorneys have developed effective strategies for protecting your trademark, including at the federal level.
In addition, there are rapidly changing legal issues on whether and what can be protected by a cannabis trademark lawyer when it comes to derivative products and Hemp products, under the 2018 Hemp Farm Bill. Part of this relies on whether the product is a topical or consumable. It continues to be a developing area of law.
A secure trademark is essential for a business to grow to its full potential in the rapidly expanding cannabis industry. The best time to protect your trademark is before anyone infringes on it, but there is no substitute for Cultiva Law’s expert counsel if infringement is occurring.
There are many restrictions on cannabis advertising imposed both by states and by the social media platforms that all other industries use to communicate with customers. These restrictions have, paradoxically, resulted in remarkably creative labeling and packaging, website designs, apps, and many other forms of branding. Copyright infringement poses a serious risk to your brand but a lawsuit to compel the infringing party to cease is only possible if the copyright has been properly registered. At Cultiva Law we place a high priority on registering copyrights and defending the zealously to protect the integrity of your brand.
Cannabis legalization has reminded people today of what humans have known since the dawn of agriculture: cannabis is the most versatile plant ever cultivated. Lamentably, decades of prohibition stunted research into the remarkable properties of cannabis but entrepreneurs, in just a few years, have made up for much of this lost time. The cannabis industry is exploring agriculture techniques that could soon make agriculture in general far more sustainable. Techniques for growing the plant, extracting cannabinoids, and customizing strains have immense positive implications for society. Continued progress, however, hinges on entrepreneurs having the same protections for trade secrets as they would in any other legal industry.
Protection of your trade secrets is fundamental to business strategy. Ideally, the process begins when you launch your business but regardless if your business is still an idea or a going concern, protecting trade secrets is the cornerstone of protecting your IP. A consultation with Cultiva Law can clarify what qualifies as a trade secret and how to maximize the proprietary advantages it brings in the world’s fastest growing industry.