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Guest Blog: Hemp-Derived CBD As an Ingredient: What gives?

By: Tami Wahl, Policy Advisor in Washington, D.C. The 2018 U.S. Farm Bill was momentous and launched a new domestic hemp production industry designed to invigorate the farming community. Just as the celebratory parade was about to start, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took a position, namely prohibiting hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) as in ingredient in food and... read more

BREXIT Update: EU Trademark Applications & Registrations

BREXIT was finally implemented on January 31, 2020. What does this mean for your European Union (“EU”) trademark applications or registrations? Issued EU Registrations Will Automatically “Spawn” Parallel UK Registrations Good news! For EU trademark registrations granted by December 31, 2020, a parallel UK registration will automatically “spawn,” carrying over all the original information from the EU registration as... read more

Conceptual v. Commercial Trademark Strength

The “strength” of a trademark relates to how likely a mark is to be remembered and associated in the public’s mind with the mark owner. The stronger a trademark, the greater protection it is accorded by trademark law. Conceptual Strength Conceptual trademark strength refers to the level of inherent distinctiveness of a mark. A mark can be inherently distinctive.... read more

Principal vs. Supplemental Trademark Register

In our recent blog post, we discussed important characteristics of marks to be considered during the selection process. The selection of a distinctive mark is key to being able to successfully enforce rights in a brand name, and also has implications for registration. In the U.S., unlike most other countries, there are two Trademark Registries: the Principal and the... read more

Distinctive & Exclusive

Below we discuss two significant legal factors that make for a strong trademark: distinctiveness and exclusiveness. 1. DISTINCTIVENESS A mark can be inherently distinctive or it may become distinctive through extensive and continuous use in the market. There are three types of inherently distinctive marks: – Fanciful marks are not actual words, but made-up terms, like ACCENTURE for consulting,... read more

Guest Blog: Cannabis Regulation in Mexico. Is it really happening?

By: Carlos Allan Malacara & Felipe Gutierrez Serrano, Panamericana de Patentes y Marcas More than two years have passed since Mexico took the first step in the regulation on the use of cannabis, amending important provisions in the General Health Law and the Federal Criminal Code. This was a pivotal moment and a shift from a prohibitionist system, to a... read more

Hemp/Cannabis/CBD Trademarks: An Interview With Evoke Law’s Mary Shapiro and Nicole Syzdek

Originally posted by Corsearch Establishing Hemp/Cannabis/CBD brands starts with proper trademark research and clearance. As the cannabis industry continues to grow nationally, cannabis operators, whether manufacturers, cultivators, retailers, distributors, etc., have increasing ability to secure trademark protection. In order to avail themselves of such protection, businesses will need to ensure that their brand is: available, registrable, and enforceable. Further,... read more

Upcoming Changes to Canadian Trademark Law

We love our Canadian neighbors! Significant changes to Canadian trademark law are taking effect on June 17, 2019, and here is what you should know: ►   As of that date, Canada will be a member of the Madrid Protocol, an international filing system in nearly 120 countries, which allows you to file applications through the World Intellectual Property... read more

BREAKING NEWS: U.S. Trademark Office Issues Guidance on Applications for Hemp and CBD Products

In the wake of the 2018 Farm Bill, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (Trademark Office) issued an Examination Guide regarding the prosecution of applications covering hemp derived goods and services. The great news is that there is a pathway to federally registering brand names for hemp-based cannabinoid products, though there are some caveats and restrictions that we... read more

Trademark Priority: First-in-time, first-in-right . . . but not always.

When two businesses offer the same or similar products or services under the same or confusingly similar mark, the first question is who has superior trademark rights. Superior rights go to the user with “priority,” a term of art in trademark law. In the U.S., with some exceptions, priority is generally determined by the first party to use a... read more

2018 Farm Bill: Registering Trademarks & Distribution of Hemp Products

On December 20, 2018, President Trump signed the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (“2018 Farm Bill”), which marked a monumental shift in federal policy towards cannabis. So, what changed? Significantly, the 2018 Farm Bill defines “hemp” as the Cannabis Sativa L. plant, any parts of the cannabis plant, and all derivatives therefrom, having a THC concentration of not more... read more

Overview: Likelihood of Confusion

Likelihood of consumer confusion is the touchstone of trademark law and determining whether there is infringement, which is the unauthorized use of a mark on or in connection with goods and/or services in a manner that is likely to cause confusion, deception, or mistake about the source or sponsorship of the goods and/or services. Whether there is a likelihood... read more

Brands vs. Company Names

Since there are different rules for trademarks and business names you must be aware of when you are referring to the brand versus the company/trade name. When using the name to refer to the company, the company name can and should be used as a proper noun, rather than as an adjective. You may also make the company name... read more

Guest Blog: The “Green Rush” to Register Cannabis Trademarks in Canada

Guest authors John H. Simpson & Shan Arora of Shift Law discuss the current landscape of cannabis trademark applications in Canada. On October 17, 2018, the sale of recreational cannabis became legal in Canada and the “green rush” to profit from the industry is on. For many months, industry players have been hurrying to stake claims to market share... read more

CBD Roundup: Updates at the USPTO, Rescheduling, & More

Evoke Law Persuades USPTO to Register Trademark for CBD from Hemp Products Mid-2017, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) started emphatically refusing trademark registration for marks covering products containing CBD from industrial hemp. Previously, it seemed that so long as the applicant confirmed that the CBD was derived from industrial hemp that was internationally sourced and contained no... read more

New Prop 65 Regulations Are Active!

As of August 30, 2018, California businesses must adhere to the new regulations relating to Prop 65 warnings. By way of background, The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (a/k/a Prop 65) requires businesses to notify Californians about significant amounts of chemicals in the products they purchase, encounter in their homes or workplaces, or that are... read more

3 Recalls, 1 Month – Be Prepared!

For anyone in the California cannabis business, July 1, 2018 marked the beginning of a new era of cannabis regulations. In addition to more stringent packaging and labeling requirements, cannabis flower and cannabis products must also now be tested for a second more expansive list of pesticides, as well as residual solvents and foreign materials. While all testing labs... read more

Guest Blog: Why You Need (or Should Update) Terms of Service & Privacy Policies

Guest author Alexandra Harmer of Ascenda Law Group discusses the importance of having terms of service and privacy policies for businesses operating in the digital world.  If you receive email, you have likely received many of the seemingly endless notices notifying you that [insert Vendor name here] has updated its website terms of service and privacy policy in the wake of... read more

International Trademark Protection

Trademark protection outside of the U.S. can be important for a number of reasons. You should at least consider filing for trademark protection internationally if your sales, distribution, and/ or manufacturing position is as follows: You conduct business in another country You plan conduct business in another country You manufacture, distribute, and/or advertise in another country A country of future... read more

Trademark Watch Services

If you don’t want to conduct a search for your company on the Internet and suddenly discover a competitor operating under a similar name, proactive enforcement efforts can provide peace of mind that the value of your company’s trademarks is being preserved. Moreover, it is the duty of a mark owner to enforce exclusive rights in a mark, or... read more
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iplaw@evoke.law 415.398.3141