Are you a cannabusiness owner looking to protect your brand with a trademark registration? Well, as you’ve probably come to expect by now, such procedures and protections don’t come as easy in cannabis as they would in other industries.
Check out my latest installment in San Francisco Attorney Magazine. Concerned about the future of the federal courts in the age of Trump? Click here to find out why those concerns are likely justified!
The following headline immediately evokes a favorite quote from The Big Lebowski: http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/the-wrap/article/The-Eagles-Sue-Hotel-California-in-Trademark-11115786.php Yes, the Eagles are suing the actual Hotel California (located in Baja) for trademark infringement. To those of you familiar enough with trademark law to currently be thinking, 'Wait, I thought you couldn't trademark singular song or album titles,' you're intuition is spot on. So what kind of case do Don Henley & Co. have against this establishment, particularly given that the Eagles are not well known for their actual, physical hotel services? Good question. Hotel California Baja has several senior trademark registrations/applications on the Principal Register, while the Eagles management company only filed their first application for "Hotel California" this past January, in conjunction with a list of knick-knacky gift shop fare. Will this turn out to be a battle over merch? Or should the parties settle and Take It Easy?
Come checkout an encore presentation of my Work-For-Hire Workshop, hosted by California Lawyers for the Arts in Berkeley on May 10 at 7:00pm.
Registration available here: https://www.showclix.com/event/cla-berkeley-work-made-for-hire-5-10-17
See the latest fallout from choosing a cannabis brand that too-closely matches an existing non-canna trademark: http://mjbizdaily.com/under-legal-pressure-seattle-mj-retailer-changes-name/
While we can't say that the replacement brand was much of an improvement ('pot shop' is descriptive and therefore difficult to protect), at least they are straying from the well-worn industry brand tropes (stash, green, canna, kind, etc.). In this case, re-branding was the responsible choice, and should serve this company better in the long run. A reminder not to get too attached to your weak trademarks.
Take a look at my latest contribution to San Francisco Attorney Magazine! The recent surge in 3D printing technology, or additive manufacturing (AM), and its application across myriad industries poses a challenge to standards for intellectual property protection that could have long-lasting ripple effects if not addressed properly.
My latest from the pages of San Francisco Attorney Magazine: http://www.sfbar.org/forms/sfam/q22016/cannabis.pdf . A general overview of the American cannabis industry from inception, through prohibition and on to today's legalization efforts. Our country's history with this unique plant is turbulent but also, apparently, circular.