USPTO issues new Cannabis Trademark Guidelines

The USPTO has issued new guidelines regarding cannabis-derived goods and services.  The guidelines were issued on May 2, 2019 and can be found here.  The new guidelines explain that the 2018 Farm Bill exempts hemp, which is defined as cannabis plants and derivatives such as CBD that contain no more than 0.3% THC on a dry-weight basis.

Therefore, for trademark applications that identify goods and or services encompassing cannabis or CBD, the 2018 Farm Bill probably removes the CSA as a ground for refusal of the application so long as:  (1) the good and/or services are derived from help;  (2) The identification of goods and/or services specify that the hemp products contain less than 0.3% THC; and (3) the application was filed on or after Dec 20, 2018, except for prior filed application, the applicants have the option of amending the filing date and filing basis of the application to over the CSA as a ground of refusal.

However, be aware that hemp related goods and/or services may still raise legal issues under other laws include the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA).

Trademark Boot Camp refresher course

I plan to attend the American Intellectual Property Law Association  (AIPLA) trademark boot camp in June of 2019.  This should be a good opportunity to stay up to date on my trademark practice, meet fellow trademark lawyers, and explore Arlington, Virginia.  I hope to see some familiar faces this year!

USPTO Expedited Trademark Cancellation Pilot Program

The USPTO has recently implemented an Expedited Trademark Cancellation Pilot Program.  USPTO random audits suggested that over half of active registrations include some goods or services for which the registered mark is not actually being used. Registered trademarks that are not actually in use in commerce may block other trademark owners from registering their marks.

Under the Expedited Trademark Cancellation Pilot Program, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) identifies newly-filed trademark cancellation proceedings limited to abandonment or nonuse claims that may benefit by some form of the Board’s existing Accelerated Case Resolution (ACR) procedures.

You may participate in the pilot even if your case was not initially identified by the TTAB, and even if you already conducted your discovery conference. You can coordinate with your opponent and call the Interlocutory Attorney assigned to schedule a conference.  More information about the pilot program can be found here.

The USPTO is presenting an Info Chat on Trademark filings!

Join the next USPTO Inventor Info Chat webinar, “Trademark: Live demonstration of how to file a trademark application,” on February 21, 2019 from 11 a.m. to noon ET. Through this live demonstration, you will learn how to effectively file your trademark application using the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). You will also have an opportunity to ask questions by emailing inventorinfochat@uspto.gov.  To register, visit the Inventor Info webinar event page on the USPTO website, or click here.