Doobie-ous Competition: How a Cannabis Company Can Use Employment Agreements to Protect Intellectual Property

In our prior posts, we discussed the two issues that should be at the forefront of any branding strategy: Avoiding potential trademark infringement claims, and Protecting the business’ brand through trademarks In this post, we briefly discuss how cannabis businesses can implement employment agreements to further protect their intellectual property. Terminating an employment relationship carries …

How To Protect Your Cannabis Trademarks in a Legal Landscape That Is Half-Baked

In our previous post, we discussed how a cannabis business can take steps to avoid potential trademark infringement claims. In this release, we will discuss how a cannabis business can use trademarks for brand protection – despite the fact that federal law prohibits filing a cannabis-related trademark. Acquiring State Trademarks The most obvious (and widespread) …

Avoiding a Bad Trip: How Cannabis Companies Can Mitigate the Risk of an Infringement Lawsuit

Over a decade has passed since recreational cannabis began to see legalization at the state level. Yet cannabis businesses continue to grapple with protecting their brands, as trademark protection at the federal level remains unavailable. The current hodgepodge of state trademark regimes will undoubtedly result in litigation and a race to register federal marks once …

Canadian Intellectual Property Fees on the Rise in 2024

On June 1, 2023, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) introduced amendments to fee schedules set out in the Patent Rules, Trademarks Regulations, Industrial Design Regulations, and Copyright Regulations and will take effect by January 1, 2024. The amendments are generally in line with fee increases put forward by CIPO for public consultation earlier this …

You Received a “Notice of Data Security Incident” from the USPTO—Now What?

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently issued a notice that a data security incident exposed domicile addresses of numerous trademark applicants who filed applications between February 2020 and March 2023. A copy of the first page of the notice is below: The USPTO stated that the incident occurred when a vulnerability in …

A Seller’s Guide to Navigating Intellectual Property Law on Amazon

A basic understanding of Intellectual Property (IP) law is essential to managing an Amazon storefront, as IP issues can be a minefield for the uninformed. Amazon sellers must understand the major forms of intellectual property –patents, trademarks, and copyrights–and the common pitfalls associated with each form to avoid infringement allegations, storefront disruptions or closures, and …

The Effect on Trade Secret Protection by the Federal Trade Commission’s Proposed Ban on Non-Compete Agreements

On January 5, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed a ban on non-compete agreements between an employer and its workers as an unfair method of competition. The FTC’s proposed ban is intended to promote competition and innovation by providing workers with more freedom to move between companies. However, this proposal has raised concerns about …

U.S. Marketing Materials Can and Will Be Used Against You in a Canadian Court

Health Canada determined that Texas-based LE-VEL BRANDS, LLC (“Le-Vel”), broke the law by selling its weight loss products to Canadians without seeking product licenses for their natural health products. The products had been distributed in Canada for some time, and Health Canada had flagged no health concerns. In deciding to issue a stop-sale order, Health Canada relied upon …

Trademark Modernization Act—What New and Upcoming Changes Could Mean for Your Trademarks

The Trademark Modernization Act (“TMA”) was signed into law on December 27, 2020. Among other things, the TMA created new procedures for challenging pending applications and registrations and updated several rules relating to the prosecution of trademark applications before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). Several of these changes took effect in December …

Canadian Trademarks

Good News! In 2021, applications filed in Canada went up 13.7%, partly due to Canada’s accession to the Madrid Protocol. When Canada is designated via the Madrid Protocol, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) will communicate directly with the applicant if a Canadian trademark agent is not appointed. Correspondence from the CIPO, such as office …