Yes, it is possible to register “weed” as a trademark, but it would likely face challenges. When writing a brand, the mark must be old in connection with goods or services and be distinctive. But “weed” is a common term for marijuana, which is still illegal under federal law in the United States. Thus, any mark that includes the time “weed” would likely be careful as related to criminal activity and would be difficult to register and enforce. Additionally, if the effect is primarily associated with illegal activity, it would not be registrable.
If the application is harmful, the applicant has the right to appeal the decision to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). But, since the mark is primarily associated with illegal activity, it would be difficult to argue that it is registrable successfully. If the TTAB also denies the application, the applicant can file a civil action in federal court. But, the chance of success in court would be low, as the court would likely agree with the decision of the USPTO and TTAB that the mark needs to be registrable.
If a business uses the mark “weed” for a product or service related to the therapeutic benefits of marijuana and the applicant can provide evidence of the therapeutic benefits and legality of their products or services, they may have a stronger argument for the registrability of the mark. A sport’s distinctiveness also determines the registrability of its signature. Even if the use of the effect is legal and related to therapeutic benefits, if the print is not distinctive, it will not be registrable.
The applicant would need to provide evidence that the mark is old in connection with legal goods or services and that the primary meaning of the term “weed” in the context of the effect is such to the therapeutic benefits and not illegal activity. The applicant would also need to show that the mark is distinctive and not likely to confuse with other effects in the marketplace.
Additionally, the applicant could argue that registering the mark would help protect the public by ensuring that consumers can quickly identify legitimate therapeutic products and services related to marijuana.
It is worth mentioning that the process of appealing the denial of a trademark application can be complex, time-consuming, and costly, and there are no guarantees of success. So, I recommend consulting with an experienced trademark attorney before pursuing an appeal.
Unfortunately for Bavaria Weed, several reasons were milk against it when the Tenth Chamber of the CJEU’s General Court concluded.
The court explained that the “weed” trademark is used all the time to describe the depressed and mildly psychedelic properties of marijuana that its non-medical users want and that this is why the mark includes a visual of a cannabis leaf. Regardless of the future, the CJEU upheld the EUIPO’s finding that the proposed trademark violated public order because recreational marijuana is now illegal (although it is time decriminalized) in many EU member states.
Furthermore, since “weed” is almost solely associated with recreational marijuana, most doctors who recommend cannabis-based medicines and therapies do not call it that. As a result, the CJEU judges rejected Bavaria Weed’s appeal after confirming that the sign promoted, or at the very least trivialized, the use of an illicit substance.
Given the precedent set above, it is likely that, at least soon, the EUIPO will reject trademark applications for therapeutic cannabis goods and related services that contain the term “weed.”
But, the EUIPO has accepted registrations for words like “hemp,” “cannabis,” “Sativa,” and “CBD,” as well as pictures of the cannabis leaf combined with other objects. The lesson from this comparison is that semantics matter and that one straightforward method to get around this obstacle is to steer clear of words that have more traditionally negative connotations. It is also important to note that Bavaria Weed’s mark has been diaries with the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA). In light of this, choosing national filings is a more effective course of action, especially if rebranding is not an option.
Local restrictions may still prevent trademark registration for cannabis-related goods and services, despite the possibility of future legal changes. As a result, it is crucial to seek advice and information on this intricate and evolving problem from the IP law specialists at IP Docketers & Associates. We can aid your search for and registration of a mark that can set you apart from the competition by supporting you in avoiding sticky circumstances and legal tangles even before registration.