The Canadian Lawyer Magazine write…. “Currently, there are more than 500 trademark applications pending in the Canadian Intellectual Property Office with “proposed use” claims for cannabis or cannabis-related goods or services that have yet to be examined.”
Here’s the introduction to the piece
The so-called “green rush” to profit from the recreational cannabis industry has been generating a lot of excitement — and professional billings — lately. Industry players are in a hurry to stake claims to market share and to various forms of intellectual property, all in advance of legalization later this year. But when it comes to selecting and protecting cannabis related brand names, the “green rush” is beginning to look like Rush Hour on the Don Valley Parkway.
Currently, there are more than 500 trademark applications pending in the Canadian Intellectual Property Office with “proposed use” claims for cannabis or cannabis-related goods or services that have yet to be examined. There are good reasons to have filed an application already or to be filing one now. The first person to file a proposed-use-trademark application gets priority over confusingly similar proposed trademarks and, let’s face it, there are only so many distinctive variations of CANN-, CANNA-, BUD, LEAF, GREEN, etc. Also, trademark applications can take 18 months or more to be processed. And the market for legal weed opens soon.
But a bottleneck is forming in CIPO that could leave many of these applications in limbo for years to come. This is bound to frustrate many cannabis businesses that are eager to settle on and secure rights in their brand names. There are several factors to blame.
First, CIPO’s trademarks office is already dealing with higher volumes and backlog because of the significant amendments to the Trade-marks Act that are set to come into force in 2019. The amendments include removing the requirement that a trademark be used in commerce before it can be registered. This has prompted a wave of speculators applying to register trademarks for every good and service under the sun with no intention to use them but who will be happy to sell them for the right price.