The contrast between California’s legalization of marijuana and the federal government’s criminalization of it creates complexities that go far beyond drug enforcement issues. Business must interact with the federal government in many ways, including paying taxes and abiding by federal workplace regulations, all of which create unique issues for marijuana companies.
Recently, one California marijuana company passed a significant federal milestone when it was granted a trademark from the U.S. Trademark Office. This signifies an important step in the federal recognition of cannabis business ventures.
Understanding Trademarks for Rancho Cucamonga Marijuana Companies
A trademark is a brand name that your company uses to define itself. This can be a word, a symbol, or name that you use to distinguish your company and the products it provides. As you gain increasing recognition within the marijuana industry, other companies might want to rip off your reputation by imitating your brand name and your product. This is why trademark registration is important.
In order to protect your trademark and keep others from using it, you can register your trademark with the U.S. Trademark Office. Registering your trademark makes it known to the public that a certain mark is your brand name and allows you to go after others who may try to use it.
In order to register a trademark, your mark must be distinct and cannot already be in use by another business operating within a similar industry to yours. The U.S. Trademark Office will review your application for a trademark registration and determine whether your brand name qualifies.
Trademarking and The Cannabis Industry
Because trademarking is regulated by the federal government, cannabis companies have historically been unsuccessful in pursuing trademarks for their brand names. Indeed, it is often difficult for marijuana producers, sellers, and affiliated companies to even find trademark attorneys willing to consider a potential trademark application.
Although marijuana companies are often ineligible for federal protections – like patent recognition – the California company, BudTrader, Inc, decided to take a chance at trying to obtain a patent for its online cannabis commercial platform. Despite filing for the trademark in 2015, the road has not been an easy one.
Initially, BudTrader was denied its trademark application, but modified their application and appealed. Over the course of the next year and a half, BudTrader worked with the U.S. Trademark Office to convince them of the company’s right to a trademark. In early November, success was achieved! The company received official word that its trademark had been registered.
For many California cannabis sellers and growers, this is an important victory. It is an important milestone on the path to federal recognition – and increasingly productive relationships between legal state operations and federal agencies. It is anticipated that other cannabis companies may move toward similar trademark recognition in the foreseeable future.
California Cannabis Lawyers Fighting To Protect Your Business
With the incredible growth occurring in the cannabis industry in California, competition is certain to become more intense in coming years. This can lead to business disputes, broken contracts, brand imitation, and other ongoing business issues.
If your company is looking to become a leader in the California marijuana industry, it is important that you work with qualified cannabis attorneys to protect the business that you have developed.
At CKB Vienna LLP, our cannabis attorneys will work with you to address business issues and disputes, including trademark needs, in an aggressive and strategic manner. For more information, contact us online or at 909-980-1040.