Federal illegality dooms KIVA cannabis trademark senior user defense

Interesting ruling from the Northern District of California this past Friday.  With cannabis goods and services typically illegal under federal law despite various state laws allowing for such goods and services, there has been interest in whether or not a federal court could or would protect a common law trademark owner under federal trademark law using the mark in association with federally-prohibited goods and services.

That answer was No.  Citing many of the TTAB cases that have served as the foundation of cannabis-related trademark prosecution (i.e. In re Morgan Brown, JJ206), the court concluded that since the cannabis-related goods were illegal at the federal level, the parties were was not entitled to injunctive relief; and, the defendant’s counterclaims were dismissed under the same reasoning:

…and:

Full Order is HERE.

Kiva Health Brands Inc. v. Kiva Brands Inc.

Several other issues to note in this case (ie. the nunc pro tunc assignment issue).

 

 

 

 

 

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