Conference space with attendees

Protecting Cannabis IP: Viability of Cannabis Patents, USPTO Guidance on Trademark Applications, Copyrights

October 27, 2020 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Hosting Organization(s):

Director Pauline M. Pelletier, Director Deborah Sterling, Ph.D., and Counsel Lauriel F. Dalier will present a CLE webinar titled "Protecting Cannabis IP: Viability of Cannabis Patents, USPTO Guidance on Trademark Applications, Copyrights" on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET. This webinar is hosted by Strafford.

Webinar Description

In 2019, the USPTO departed from its longstanding position prohibiting registration of cannabis-related marks when it issued guidance for trademark applications of hemp-based goods and services. However, the legal status of cannabis impacts trademarks, which could be advantageous for those in federal compliance but problematic for those not in compliance.

Unlike trademarks, the legal status of cannabis is not relevant in the patent context. The number of patent applications for cannabis-related inventions continues to rise, and the USPTO is issuing an increasing number of cannabis-related patents. Last year, a federal district court upheld patent claims for liquid cannabinoid formulations, and the USPTO confirmed the patentability of claims relating to a cannabis-derived pharmaceutical. Also, cannabis patent portfolios have been critical pieces in several acquisitions.

For IP that is dependent on the legal status of the product, this could be a game-changer. As the cannabis industry grows, counsel needs to understand how best to protect the IP rights involved.

Listen as our authoritative panel examines the current cannabis IP landscape, including the USPTO cannabis trademark guide, recent decisions on the patentability and enforceability of cannabis patents, and the use of copyrights. The panel will also discuss the impact of the legality of cannabis on IP rights and what the FDA's cannabis regulation means for IP. The group will offer best practices for how to secure IP rights even as the landscape continues to evolve.


  1. The current cannabis IP landscape
    1. Trademarks
    2. Patents
    3. Copyright
    4. Trade secrets
  2. The legality of cannabis and its impact on IP rights
  3. FDA cannabis regulation
  4. Practical strategies for obtaining IP rights for cannabis-related goods and services
    1. Trademarks
    2. Patents
    3. Copyright
    4. Trade secrets


The panel will review these and other vital matters:

  • How is the legal landscape evolving for the protection of cannabis-related IP rights?
  • What are the practical implications of legality questions related to cannabis-related goods and services?
  • What are best practices for securing IP rights for cannabis-related products?