California-based MedMen Enterprises has filed an application to trademark the word “cannabis” for use on T-shirts, but a trademark specialist is skeptical the application will fly with the federal government.
The application, filed in early October with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), follows the multistate cannabis company’s successful effort to trademark a marijuana leaf design for shirts in 2017, according to MedMen spokesman Daniel Yi.
“The geometric leaf you see on our Website and other collaterals is trademarked so we are looking to extend the idea for the word ‘cannabis,’” Yi wrote in an email to Marijuana Business Daily.
But trademark specialist Frank Herrera, managing attorney of H New Media Law in Florida, predicted it will be tough for MedMen to get such approval.
“Simply attempting to register the word cannabis alone and not stylized (with logos or a design, for example) for clothing will not work, in my opinion.”
He predicted the government “will most likely reject the application” because there are so many uses of the term cannabis in connection with similar merchandise, such as clothing.
Herrera, who will discuss trademarking at MJBizCon in Las Vegas in November, conducted research on others who’ve tried to trademark the word cannabis. He found attempts dating to 1996.
He predicted it will be at least three months until the USPTO issues its first “office action” on the MedMen application, which is a formal letter detailing the government’s position on the application’s merits.