Tag Archives: Gretchen Temeles

Cannabis Patents: Patent Litigation in an Emerging U.S. Industry

Gretchen Temeles
Gretchen Temeles

Even though cannabis remains a Schedule I controlled substance under U.S. federal law, the United States Patent Office (USPTO), a federal agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, routinely grants patents covering cannabis-related technologies. The Schedule I classification of cannabis is not relevant to patentability. As with any other invention, to be patentable, a cannabis-related invention must be new, useful, and nonobvious, and teach one of ordinary skill in the art how to make and use the invention. The USPTO has determined that many cannabis-related patent applications have met these requirements. Patents granted to cannabis-related inventions cover an enormous range of technologies, including cannabis plants, growing systems, extracts, methods of making extracts, foodstuffs, veterinary products, and methods of treating various diseases and disorders.

To read the full text of this article by Duane Morris attorney Gretchen L. Temeles, Ph.D., please visit the Cannabis Law Journal website.

IP Protection and the Cannabis Industry: Strategies and Trends

Protection of intellectual property is a key element in any company’s efforts to secure a competitive advantage. For companies in the cannabis space, efforts to secure intellectual property protection play out against a background of conflicting federal and state regulations. Cannabis continues to be a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, and possession of cannabis is prohibited by federal law. However, 29 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical cannabis, and eight U.S. states have legalized recreational cannabis. This article will address various IP strategies, including trademarks and branding, patents and trade secrets, for protection of cannabis and cannabis-related products and services. The article will also discuss trends in the industry as well as contrasting protections available on the state and federal levels.

To read the full text of this article by Duane Morris attorneys Gretchen Temeles, Christiane Campbell and Vicki Norton, please visit the Duane Morris website.

Cannabis at the Cutting Edge – Patents for a New U.S. Industry

Gretchen Temeles

When most people think of patented technologies, they think of cell phones, computers, and pharmaceuticals. What entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry may not know is that cannabis and cannabis-related products are also patentable. Patents are important for any business, but are particularly important for an emerging industry such as the cannabis industry. The evolving legal and regulatory framework in the industry and the development of new technologies means that those businesses taking early steps to protect their intellectual property are likely to be at a competitive advantage as the industry matures and consolidates.

How do patents fit into the current state and federal cannabis regulations?

Currently, 29 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana and eight states also permit recreational use. Under federal law, cannabis remains a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act meaning that cannabis possession is illegal. However, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the federal agency responsible for granting patents, has traditionally taken a hands-off approach to barring particular kinds of inventions from patentability. The only kinds of inventions that are legally not patentable are inventions covering human life forms or whose sole purpose is use in atomic weapons. Otherwise, assuming that a patent application covering cannabis or cannabis-related products meets the legal standards for patentability, explained in more detail below, the USPTO presently grants patents to cannabis and cannabis-related inventions.

To read the full text of this article by Duane Morris attorney Gretchen Temeles, please visit the Daily Marijuana Observer website.

Cannabis: Patenting Opportunities in an Emerging U.S. Market

Gretchen TemelesPatents are an important tool for businesses to secure a competitive advantage, particularly for companies in an emerging industry such as the cannabis industry. Contrary to popular belief, cannabis and cannabis-related inventions are not only are patentable, but the number of patents and applications being filed in this area is growing steadily. The evolving legal and regulatory framework and the development of new technologies as the industry matures and consolidates means that those businesses that have taken steps to patent protect their technologies early on are likely to be at a competitive advantage.

How do patents fit into the current state and federal cannabis regulations?

As of this writing, twenty-nine U.S. states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana. and eight states permit recreational use. Under federal law, cannabis remains a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act. However, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), an agency of the United States Department of Commerce, has issued, and continues to issue patents to cannabis and cannabis-related inventions. The USPTO has traditionally taken a hands-off approach to barring particular kinds of inventions from patentability. Congress has determined that two kinds of inventions are categorically not patentable: those encompassing human organisms (The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) (Public Law 112-29, sec. 33(a), 125 Stat. 284), and those having as their sole purpose use in atomic weapons (The Atomic Energy Act of 1954, See 42 U.S.C. 2181(a)). Otherwise, assuming that a patent application covering cannabis or cannabis-related products meets the legal standards for patentability, the USPTO is presently granting such patents.

To read the full text of this article by Duane Morris attorney Gretchen L. Temeles, Ph.D., please visit the Cannabis Law Report website.