We have been asked by many clients whether we can assist them with registering trademarks connected to the sale of cannabis and cannabis-related goods and services. In the past, we needed to be very creative to push applications through to registration. Now, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) may be making things a bit simpler for us and our clients.
On May 2, the USPTO issued an examination guide to clarify how it will view cannabis-related trademark applications moving forward.
If an application is submitted in relation to services that involve cannabis that is “hemp” (if it contains less than 0.3% THC), then it will not be automatically rejected by an examining attorney. Applicants who are seeking to register a mark in connection with the cultivation or production of cannabis that is “hemp” will need to show that production is accomplished under a proper license.
If an application is submitted in relation to the sale of goods that involve cannabis or CBD that is “hemp,” and the identification of the goods specify that they contain less than 0.3% THC, then the application will not be automatically rejected.
The bottom-line is that if the federal government does not recognize the good or service as being legal, then the trademark connected to it still will not be registered. But those products that classify as “hemp” and satisfy other federal requirements can no longer be flat out refused registration by the USPTO.