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San Diego Cannabis Intellectual Property Attorney

Intellectual property (“IP”) in the cannabis world is a little bit different. The general rules of intellectual property still apply, but there are nuances given cannabis’ illegality under the Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”) and cannabidiol (“CBD”)’s unclear status under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (“FDA”) Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (“FDCA”).


Because of cannabis’ unclear status between state and federal law, trademark prosecution in the cannabis industry can get pretty complicated. Some Classes/categories of goods/services are likely to pass Examination by an Examining Attorney at the Patent and Trademark Office, some are somewhat risky, and some are likely to be rejected. Each Class/category of goods/services comes with its own set of risks when it comes to cannabis and CBD.

At T-Rex Law in San Diego, California we can help you navigate those risks and apply for U.S. trademark applications that comprehensively cover the goods/services you provide that are also likely to mature into a U.S. trademark registration. Even if your main focus is cannabis flower itself, there are still ways to protect your trademark.

We implement both long-term and short-term strategies to help you reach your goals and protect your trademark – while keeping in mind that cannabis will most likely become legal at some point.

We also utilize state trademark applications to supplement your coverage. In California, you can obtain a California State trademark registration for cannabis goods – for example, dried cannabis for smoking. A few state trademark registrations in conjunction with several U.S. trademark applications/registrations are a great start to your intellectual property portfolio.

Finally, we understand that the market is saturated with trademarks containing “green” or “canna” or “Humboldt”. We can help you avoid these traps by conducting a Trademark Search prior to your use or adoption of a trademark and help you enforce your trademark and broaden your trademark space if you’ve already adopted a trademark that exists in a crowded market.


Protecting your Copyrighted works – especially your logo(s) – is even more important in the cannabis industry. Unlike trademarks, Copyrights are not tied to certain Classes of goods/services. Copyrights in a logo apply to any reproduction, copying, or use of your logo. Therefore, registration of your artistic works with the U.S. Copyright Office is essential – and we always recommend this supplemental protection.

Many businesses in the cannabis industry also run into issues with Copyright ownership. In general, the author of an artistic work owns the Copyrights in and to the work of authorship. This means that an independent contractor hired to create a logo generally owns the Copyrights – not the business that commissioned them. This could lead to Copyright infringement and even a lawsuit later on. Our San Diego cannabis intellectual property attorneys can help you clean up any issues with ownership and make sure your Copyrights are adequately protected.

Trade Secrets:

A trade secret can be a huge asset in the cannabis industry. If you have unique methods of extraction, secret processes or techniques, formulas that only you know, etc., you might have a trade secret. There is no way to federally register your trade secret, so a trade secret protection plan can help.

At T-Rex Law, we have extensive experience in crafting these plans so your trade secrets remain just that – a secret.


The patent side of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office doesn’t have the same ban on cannabis that the trademark side does. This means that you can obtain patent protection for your invention – even if it touches, involves, or is cannabis (i.e. in the case of a plant patent).

Contact a San Diego Intellectual Property Cannabis Attorney Today

At T-Rex Law, we understand that the cannabis industry is in a tough spot. Cannabis businesses still face threats of raids, letters from the FDA, targeted robberies because so much cash is required due to banks’ unwillingness to accept cannabis-related money, high taxation, and even natural events like weather. We work with our cannabis clients to make sure their intellectual property is protected for a fair price. We always work on a flat fee basis so cannabis clients will never be billed for more than what they ask for. We work tirelessly to provide comprehensive strategies where cannabis clients can choose what to do immediately and what to put off until more funds are available. Contact us online or call (858) 220-2345. Our cannabis intellectual property attorneys in San Diego are here to discuss your options.