Outlook Hazy For Cannabis TMs Under Unlawful Use Doctrine

Law360 (August 22, 2019, 12:17 PM EDT) -- It is established, for now, that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will not register a trademark used for cannabis or cannabis-related goods or services (other than hemp) because, to be registrable under the Lanham Act, a mark must be in lawful use in commerce, and cannabis products remain unlawful under the Controlled Substances Act — even in states where medical and/or recreational marijuana has been legalized.[1]

Left in doubt, however, was how the federal courts would view the impact of the "unlawful use in commerce" doctrine in a trademark infringement case. Recently, two U.S. district courts confronted this precise issue,...

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