The cannabidiol (“CBD”) industry has grown a great deal in the few years that it has been legal, achieving a market size value of $2.8 billion in 2020. Demand for CBD-infused products has been on the rise, thanks to reports of its potent medicinal properties, and a multitude of sellers have entered the CBD space looking to capture a swathe of the market for themselves before it becomes too saturated. However, it hasn’t been a walk in the park for these companies, thanks to a variety of barriers, the main one being the fact that the CBD industry does not have a comprehensive regulatory structure.
The Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) has been under mounting pressure from stakeholders and policymakers to create rules for the nascent CBD sector, and it has been issuing directives to help guide cannabidiol companies. In the meantime, many companies have been struggling to survive in a barely regulated landscape where the rug can be pulled out from under them at any time. One such company tried to get an “intent to use” trademark for CBD-infused teas but was denied, with an appeals board reaffirming the decision last week.
Joy Tea, a brand that delivers simple and transparent CBD teas, submitted an intent to use trademark application in a bid to trademark its CBD tea formulations. However, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) turned down the application, stating that the lawfulness of goods isn’t determined by what may or may not be federally legalized in the future.
After the application was denied, Joy Tea headed to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to try and overturn the decision. The company argued that although it is currently illegal to sell CBD as a beverage as per the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, it had a bona fide intent to use the trademark as federal policy change was imminent.
Unfortunately for Joy Tea, the Appeal Board upheld the decision, saying that since the FDA still hasn’t issued rules allowing the sale of CBD as a beverage, it could not grant the trademark. But according to Larry Sandell, an intellectual property attorney at Mei & Mark LLP representing Joy Tea, the ruling ignores the fact that pharmaceutical companies are often allowed to trademark drugs that still haven’t been formally permitted by regulatory bodies and are still in development. He maintains that Joy Tea does not intend to register the product; it just wants to use it in legal commerce in the future. The company has two months to appeal the decision in federal court.
This ruling is likely to be studied by all companies, including Golden Triangle Ventures Inc. (OTC: GTVH) that are operating within the industrial hemp and CBD sector since it could also have implications for them.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Golden Triangle Ventures Inc. (OTC: GTVH) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://nnw.fm/GTVH
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