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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Hey everybody I’m JD Houvener your host of the bold today’s show we’re you the inventor entrepreneur business owner get your daily inspiration so you can make the world a better place all right we talked about trademark law before on this show and so I’m hoping a lot of you have a baseline level of knowledge this week we’re covering cannabis and the industry that’s taking a lot of us by storm we’re seeing stores pop up all the plays all over the place and there’s a lot of money changing hands and industries so new that there’s plenty of opportunity for new players so if you’re in this space where you’ve got a business that might be tangentially related listen up because this is going to impact you trademark law governs how a brand’s work and how customers precede them in order to get an exclusive right to have your name or logo you’ve got to have a distinctive mark you’ve got to be using it in interstate commerce and you have to be able to show that it’s one-of-a-kind trademark law requires that you be distinctive right one-of-a-kind it the only name for that specific industry right you know you can have multiple the excuse me you have the same name for multiple industries like there’s McDonald’s hamburgers and McDonald’s furniture right those are two totally different industries but you’ve got to be the one of a kind in your class it’s called classification now to bring this back to cannabis law the underlying problem is that at a federal level cannabis the marijuana plant is a controlled substance and it’s illegal right and so the the the understanding that each state has their own laws is fine but the problem comes into demonstrating to the trademark office right a federal body that your your ear in in business interstate right between states that’s when it becomes a problem right as soon as you cross state lines with that controlled substance there’s a me federal law that’s being violated and so the trimeric law trademark office will never lay sup until now they’ve said they’ll never issue a registered trademark as the way the laws are written right now for cannabis law for that classification now certainly you can register marks for other industries like shirts or paraphernalia or you know certain items that are sort of related to the marijuana and cannabis culture but for the plant itself you’re not going to be able to get your own trademark in that some other alternatives you can do is register at the state level right within your state if it’s become legal certainly it’s going to be allowed to seek a state trademark as opposed to the federal trademark so a state trademark of course only gives you rights in that state but it certainly is better than nothing the other the third option is to just begin doing business using that name and gain the common-law privileges commas gonna again allow you the geographic domain of where you’re actually serving customers so if it’s just in one city that’s the really the only the ability you’re going to go to exclude anyone else from using that name is where you’ve been operating and where your customers are coming from I hope this has been insightful for you those interested in trademarks and intellectual property encourage you go to our website at bold IP com you can also give us a call at




About the Author
J.D. Houvener is a Registered USPTO Patent Attorney who has a strong interest in helping entrepreneurs and businesses thrive. J.D. leverages his technical background in engineering and experience in the aerospace industry to provide businesses with a unique perspective on their patent needs. He works with clients who are serious about investing in their intellectual assets and provides counsel on how to capitalize their patents in the market. If you have any questions regarding this article or patents in general, consider contacting J.D. at