Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Marijuana brands can trademark almost anything, except marijuana; Los Angeles Times, 1/7/17

James Rufus Koren, Los Angeles Times; Marijuana brands can trademark almost anything, except marijuana:

"Though cannabis is legal for recreational or medicinal use in 28 states, it remains illegal under federal law. As a result, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will not register trademarks for marijuana retailers or for products that contain cannabis...

One popular strategy for cannabis companies that can’t trademark their core products is to seek protection for a host of ancillary products and services.
“I call it the ‘circle the wagons’ approach,” said Todd Winter, a Costa Mesa attorney who works with marijuana companies. “We get everything trademarked that we can, tangential to the actual cannabis product itself.”
The idea, one that is largely untested so far, is that if a cannabis company registers its trademark for other products it will scare off would-be copycats and allow the company to be first in line if the federal government eases its stance on pot."

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