Justin R. Jackson
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As more and more states decriminalize or legalize medical and recreational cannabis use, the cannabis industry has grown into a lucrative market. However, cannabis is still illegal on the federal level, and is considered a controlled substance, which makes obtaining patents for cannabis-related products a challenge. There are a number of means to protect cannabis-related intellectual property. Obtaining a design patent represents a particularly elegant solution to the dilemma of obtaining IP protection for cannabis-related products.
What Is a Design Patent?
A design patent is to protect the look and feel of a product rather than its function. Design patents can be particularly valuable when applied to ornamental features of cannabis-related products, such as vaporizers. As such, design patents play a valuable role in protecting the cannabis-related products of a business from wholesale copying.
Design Patent versus Utility Patent
Unlike design patents, utility patents relate directly to how a product functions or its core purpose. Utility patents endure for 20 years, while design patents last either 14 or 15 years, depending on the date the patent was filed. While obtaining utility patents for cannabis-related products can be more of a challenge, it is not impossible. The key is to pursue patents for objects or products that would otherwise be legal, while focusing on the non-cannabis aspects of the invention.
Design Patents and Cannabis Products
For the present, design patents represent an important tool in obtaining legal protection for cannabis-related intellectual property. As the legal environment evolves around the cannabis industry, the intellectual property requirements will be altered as well. Peacock Law is well-positioned to keep pace with a rapidly evolving market. Contact us today to ensure that you have the protection you need for your cannabis-related business endeavors.