Cannabis is a crowded, highly competitive market. And the interplay between cannabis brand protection and federal IP laws is still in its infancy stage. In the absence of clear direction or longstanding history, both the industry and the government are left to discover the rules and boundaries governing cannabis brands and products in real-time.

Now more than ever, and likely more than ever will be the case again, cannabis businesses have the opportunity to secure rights and brand positions when the rules are still being written and interpreted. As long as laws lag behind the real world, protecting brand rights in cannabis products and services is, on the face of things, not possible.

And this is where we add value…

In this webinar, Attorney Zach Eyster dives into the obstacles of brand protection for cannabis brands and the steps companies can take to secure their positioning.

Zach discusses business branding, including how a trademark plays a role in building a brand.
(a) A trademark is a source identifier that indicates that this product was made by you. (b) Anything a business uses to distinguish its goods from those of another: name, logo, slogan, packing, design, sound, scent. Trademark protection is limited to registered classes.
The more distinctive a mark is, the greater protection provided under the law.
Additionally, descriptive marks (“PIZZA RESTAURANT”) and geographic marks (“NEW YORK PIZZA”) must acquire secondary meaning. Additionally, Zach covers generic marks and why they are not protectable under trademark law.
The Process
When to file for a trademark? When you’ve solidified your brand name. When you’ve done your research. When you’re using a mark in interstate commerce.
The Big Twist [18:08]
If you are a cannabis brand the US government, specifically the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) prevent cannabis brands from filing cannabis trademark registrations. In this section, Zach covers the details of these obstacles and the potential for change.
In this section of the webinar, Zach shares our “Secret Sauce” and solutions for cannabis companies seeking to protect their branding and brand positioning.
#1 Claim what you can claim
#2 Use your mark intelligently
#3 Expand offerings strategically
Enforcement Considerations [37:36]
Building a strong brand faces the risk of infringers. Zach describes the importance of enforcing your branding and how to prepare for potential infringers.
Get Started

Protecting your cannabis brand requires a strategic approach. Our team has had great success helping companies establish strong, enforceable protections to secure their brand assets and positioning.

The first step of the process is a free introductory phone call with a Founders Legal attorney to discuss your needs and establish a plan of action.