Best Practices

Revisiting The Basics Of Federal Trademarks In The Cannabis Industry

Understanding the fundamentals is key for any business owner

On Friday, I had the privilege of speaking on a panel at American University Washington College of Law’s Intellectual Property Symposium in Washington D.C., which addressed the obstacles of obtaining and enforcing IP rights in the cannabis industry. Many of the questions asked were ones I’ve been working through for the last several years, so I thought it would be helpful to address them in this post, and to revisit some of the basic issues my cannabis clients face in protecting their brand assets.

First, here are a number of posts I’ve written on cannabis IP and trademarks that cover many of the issues we discussed:

The most pressing topic, of course, was how we should advise our clients to protect their brand assets, given the unique legal status of cannabis. As far as brand protection goes, federal trademarks are the most effective device for ensuring that consumers are able to identify your goods and services, and for ensuring that third parties are unable to copy your mark. A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.


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