Breaking News – California cannabis TM licensor alleges lawful TM use in Washington

In my Cannabis Trademarks CLE material, I discuss a case out of Washington State.  Here is one of the slides:

As stated on the slide, there was a hearing on September 12, 2018 in an appeal of the trial court’s decision.

An appellate order was just issued today, and the appellate court overturned the trial court, holding that the California company did properly allege that it was using the mark lawfully in Washington despite not holding a Washington license to manufacture cannabis goods.

Admittedly, this ruling is based on a motion to dismiss concerning pleading allegation technicalities, so its precedential value may not be too great, especially since Washington subsequently passed Senate Bill 5131 that allows licensees to enter into agreements for consulting services and licensing trademarks.

The full opinion is HERE, but here is some good language regarding the argument that a trademark licensor licensing a mark into a state where the licensor does not have a canabis license does not necessarily violate the CSA:

(The CSA-violation argument was not the only issue on appeal, so it is worth the time to read the entire order.)

 

 

 

 

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