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The Importance of Intellectual Property

As owners of already issued cannabis patents begin to enforce their intellectual property(IP) rights against infringers in federal court, cannabis breeders, growers, and extractors should think twice about protecting their own IP to ensure that they have legal rights to their plants and proprietary methods of growing and extraction.
The early stage cannabis industry still presents a largely open field for invention and innovation, but it is better to act now before competition stakes a claim that blocks your business growth.
If your plant, invention, or method isn’t filed within one year of entering the marketplace, it can no longer be patented and the invention will have been injected into the public domain. Because patents grant a monopoly, it makes sense to protect your invention to get your share of the legal monopoly provided by patent protection.

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Hard and soft IP protection will definitely on the minds of cannabis entrepreneurs. IP stands to be on the forefront of future cannabis litigation.

Protect your IP!

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I didn’t think that marijuana patents were possible. I know that marijuana or marijuana related terms cannot be copyrighted, I was turned down for an application that had the term “buds” in it.

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Hi Growernick, Thank you for your comments. I understand that you are a Master Grower and that you are an industry veteran and I think I have seen your online presence wherein you invite anyone to “ask you any question.” My question is, do you think there is a good understanding of intellectual property in the cannabis industry as a whole? For example, do most breeders know how valuable it can be to have a plant patent?

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I suspect that most growers, in fact, do not understand the importance of IP. To be forthright, I am only beginning to truly appreciate the significance of intellectual property as it relates to cannabis. I suspect others appreciate it when the litigation begins.

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Hi Kirkcollier, It is possible to obtain patent protection for cannabis related inventions, and many (hundreds) have already been issued in the last few years by the U.S. Patent Office. As regards your comment about being denied copyright protection, that doesn’t sound right to me. The U.S. Copyright Office has been issuing copyright protection for cannabis related subject matter. Could you have meant to say that you were denied “trademark” protection, because that would be plausible. The U.S. Trademark Office does not grant protection for cannabis related trademarks for a complex set of legal reasons. However, there are strategies for obtaining ‘state’ trademark protection, and there are some very obtuse strategies for obtaining federal trademark protection that you may not have been acquainted with. I have written a few articles during the last year or so about these matters and they have been published in Marijuana Venture and Cannabis Business Times. As well, if you wish to discuss this further, I am at (303) 823-2476.

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When the litigation begins is the painful way to learn about the power of intellectual property. Intellectual property lawsuits are very expensive and the penalties for infringement or misappropriation could put many companies out of business. It use to be that property, plant and equipment were the primary business assets, but now the value of business is found increasingly in their intangible intellectual assets like brands and patents The winners in the booming cannabis industry will be those who have the best intellectual property rights. Breeders, growers, and extractors especially need to protect their plants and inventions with patents and trade secrets.

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Protecting your Cannabis (IP) intellectual property is critical for survival. Once federal prohibition ends there will be an onslaught of IP infringement claims. For some cannabis operators, this could become and extinguishing event if not properly prepared. @emergentrisk Can provide Cannabis Operators with IP Litigation Insurance that provides up to $10 Million for the cost of Enforcement and Defense of your IP rights. if you are interested in learning more. Please message me.

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