Legalization of Marijuana Bringing Up Patent Issues Due to Lack of Prior Art

Now that marijuana is legal in Canada and its legality is expanding in a majority of U.S. states as well, many companies are racing to patent new formulations of the product.

In the first U.S. case tackling these new issues, United Cannabis Corp has accused Pure Hemp Collective Inc of infringing its patent covering a liquid formulation with a high concentration CBD. Experts say that it is difficult to tell whether patent is overly broad or obvious in light of “prior art.”

Prior art is the existing science or technology that can help to show whether an invention is novel. Since marijuana was previously illegal, many uses were not documented in the usual way — this makes the prior art virtually non-existent.

Experts say the marijuana industry is, for the most part, unprepared for patent litigation and the battles over licensing fees that may lie ahead.

Additional Resources

Check out CBD patents on Justia

What Do Pot And Software Have In Common? Stupid Patent Thickets Based On A Lack Of Patented Prior Art, Techdirt, December 6, 2018

Image credit: