The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a Cannabis Trademark Examination Report on May 2, 2019. This report is titled the Examination of Marks for Cannabis and Cannabis Related Goods and Services after the Enactment of the 2018 Farm Bill.
The report addresses how the USPTO and its trademark examination attorneys will analyze certain cannabis, cannabidiol, and hemp-related trademark applications before and after the enactment of the 2018 Farm Bill. Since the enactment of the 2018 Farm Bill there has been a steady increase of trademark applications covering cannabis-related products and services. Because of the confusion surrounding the federal laws involving commerce of cannabis-related goods and federal trademark registrations available to owners seeking brand protection for CBD and hemp products, the USPTO offered the report to set the record straight.
The Cannabis Trademark Examination Guide outlines the general rule that use of trademark must be lawful under federal law to be the basis for federal registration under the US Trademark Act. It further states that the US Trademark Office refuses to register trademark for goods and/or services that show a clear violation of federal law, regardless of the legality of the activities under state law. A determination of whether commerce involving cannabis and cannabis-related goods and services, such as CBD and industrial hemp, is lawful requires review of several different federal laws, including: