Intellectual Property Survey: Cannabis Plant Types, Methods of Extraction, IP Protection, and One Patent That Could Ruin It All

Ohio State Public Law Working Paper No. 480 (2019)

Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, No. 3

9 Pages Posted: 2 May 2019

See all articles by Amanda Maxfield

Amanda Maxfield

Ohio State University (OSU), Michael E. Moritz College of Law, Students

Date Written: April 22, 2019

Abstract

Intellectual property is one of a company’s most valuable assets, at times deserving rigorous time and effort for proper protection. Companies rely on patent, trade secret, trademark and copyright laws to protect their intellectual property. For most businesses, this process is routine and a standard part of their ordinary course of business. Cannabis companies, unfortunately, have many obstacles to overcome to use some of these same protections, as cannabis is considered federally illegal, yet legalized in many states to varying degrees. Cannabis companies must, therefore, be innovative and nuanced in their strategies for protecting their proprietary business information such as patentable subject matter through the use of patents and trade secrets. The method of intellectual property protection is driven by the subject matter. Cannabis growers target specific plant types based on cannabidiol (“CBD”) and delta-9-tetrohydrocannabinol (“THC”) ratios and desired characteristics using specific method of extraction, all of which are patentable if legal elements are met. Unfortunately, while the cannabis industry is an emerging market with plenty of growth ahead of it, an ongoing Colorado court case involving liquids containing cannabinoids that could result in major negative ramifications for all involved in the cannabis industry.

Keywords: intellectual property, patent, cannabis, trademark, copyright

Suggested Citation

Maxfield, Amanda, Intellectual Property Survey: Cannabis Plant Types, Methods of Extraction, IP Protection, and One Patent That Could Ruin It All (April 22, 2019). Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, No. 3. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3376060 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3376060

Amanda Maxfield (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU), Michael E. Moritz College of Law, Students ( email )

55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

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