Up in Smoke: Cannabis TM Rejection Shows Need for Caution

On May 3, the TTAB affirmed the USPTO’s previous decision to reject an application for ‘Bakked’. The filing was intended to cover an essential oil dispenser and was submitted by cannabis company National Concessions Group (NCG). […]

[T]he USPTO examiner, as the TTAB reaffirmed, found that the “primary intended purpose” was to dispense cannabis-based oil to a vaping or smoking device.

Hazy Descriptions

Christiane Schuman Campbell, partner at Duane Morris in Philadelphia, says the word “primary” is significant.

Christiane CampbellShe notes that companies often seek protection for devices used by smokers, such as rolling papers that could have tobacco in them or vape pens that could have nicotine-type oils.

“Goods like smokers’ products, whose primary use is not necessarily to consume cannabis, may stand a better chance of getting through office scrutiny,” she says.

“But filing for goods for which the primary purpose is to consume cannabis runs a much greater likelihood of receiving an ‘unlawful use’ objection.” […]

“This ruling would have been a lot more significant if it had gone the other way,” says Campbell.

Weeding out

[…] Campbell notes that the word ‘Bakked’ was likely a sign that the business was involved in the industry.

“When they catch the scent of a cannabis-themed application, they’re going to ask questions and try to dig into whether the application is in violation of federal law,” she says.

Campbell says she will continue to warn clients about the level of scrutiny that the office exercises over applications that look like they might be related to cannabis. […]

To read the full article, please visit the Managing IP website.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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