A trademark is a type of intellectual property consisting of a word, phrase, logo, sound, or smell that identifies the source of ownership of goods and/or services. Obtaining a federal trademark provides the trademark owner the exclusive right to use the trademark nationwide and allows the owner to pursue an infringement action against others for using an identical or confusingly similar mark. Obtaining a state trademark affords an owner a similar form of limited protection; however, the owner only has the exclusive right to use the trademark within the state she registers.
As the medical marijuana, hemp, and CBD industries are still relatively new, many cannabis business owners are unsure whether they qualify for trademark protection or not. The 2018 Farm Bill clarified the legal distinction of hemp from marijuana and the status of popular cannabinoids and derivatives, such as CBD. Accordingly, positive changes regarding hemp-based trademarks have taken place, which the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) outlined in an Examination Guide in May of 2019. Below, we outline the basics of trademarking with a focus on cannabis and hemp products at the federal and state level.
Trademarks are common as companies make efforts to stand out in competitive industries. However, in this pursuit of differentiation, some businesses may take inspiration from a competitor’s creative assets. These actions risk infringing on the trademark of the business that registered the concept with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Trademark infringement cases can be complicated, which is why companies should work with an experienced Texas trademark lawyer from Ritter Spencer PLLC. Read below to learn some of the basics of trademark infringement and what legal options are available to businesses with a registered trademark.
Chelsie Spencer’s article regarding the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s treatment of cannabidiol (“CBD”) and hemp-derivative goods trademark applications has been published today in The Tipsheet. To view a copy of the article on CBD trademarks, continue reading below or click here: Cannabidiol: The Disjointed Stance at the USPTO Continues.
Attorney Chelsie Spencer was featured in Forbes this morning for her work as a hemp lawyer in the hemp, medical marijuana, and cannabidiol industries. To read the feature article, please click here to be taken to the Forbes website: Meet the Fearless Lawyer Saving the CBD Industry.
Trademark Lawyer Chelsie Spencer was published in the State Bar of Texas Intellectual Property Section’s TipSheet Vol. 13 No. 2, discussing the USPTO’s treatment of trademark applications for goods containing cannabidiol. To view the article, continue reading below or click here.
Ritter Spencer attorney Chelsie Spencer is featured this morning on Fit Small Business. In the article, Top 28 Digital Branding Strategies, Mrs. Spencer advises content creators to ensure that the digital content they place online is legally protected.
Distinguishing your brand in the digital age can be a challenge, particularly due to the easy and instant access of information online and heightened market congestion. Digital theft of intellectual property is quite prevalent in the online age; however, content creators and brand owners can take steps to legally protect their works.
Recently, the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) issued an internal directive which will likely assist pending and future CBD trademark registrations with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. What is CBD you ask? CBD is an acronym for cannabidiol, a cannabis compound derived from the marijuana plant. Importantly, CBD is a non-psychoactive compound, meaning that it lacks THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) – the cannabinoid compound associated with marijuana use. CBD has been added to a variety of goods, from oils, to vapor, to honey, to candies, and beyond.
When you file an application for federal trademark registration, the TEAS filing portal (Trademark Electronic Application System) will ask you to select a filing basis for your trademark application. There are two available bases for selection: 1(a) or 1(b). Both are derived from the Lanham Act, the statute governing trademarks. When you prepare to file your online trademark application, it can often be confusing as to which basis you should file with.
When registering a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), any of the available application forms for filing will require that you specify whether you are applying for the mark in a standard character format, also referred to as a word mark, or in a special form, referred to as a stylized mark or design mark. Assuming that your business name is eligible for trademark registration, you may wonder whether you should trademark the business name or the business’s logo first. You have the option to register (a) the business name only (b) the logo or other design only or (c) both.