Last Thursday (May 2, 2019), the USPTO issued Guidance for the examination of trademark applications for hemp and cannabidiol (“CBD”) containing goods. The guidance comes after the enactment of the 2018 Farm Bill, which exempted hemp (i.e., cannabis sativa L. with a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) concentration of not more than .3% on a dry weight basis) and its constituents (e.g., CBD) from the definition of “Marihuana” [sic] in the Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”). As a result of the Farm Bill, hemp is no longer a controlled substance.
The USPTO refuses to register marks for goods and/or services that show a clear violation of federal law, regardless of the legality of the goods/services under state law. Previously, this included goods that contain hemp or CBD – both of which were controlled substances.
The USPTO has indicated that applications filed on or after the effective date of the Farm Bill (December 20, 2018), which identify goods that are, or are derived from, hemp, may proceed towards registration, provided the identification of goods specifies that they contain less than 0.3% THC. Additionally, applicants who filed before December 20, 2018 will have the option to amend the filing date of their applications to December 20, 2018, and also be required to amend the identification of goods.
Importantly, the Farm Bill explicitly...Continue Reading Leave a Comment