what patent protection is available for cannabis and CBD related inventions
PATENTS ARE POSSIBLE FOR ILLEGAL SUBSTANCES LIKE CANNABIS AND CBD
Patents on illegal goods and services are not precluded from patent protection in the same way that federal trademarks are unavailable. Patents simply do not face this restriction and are not by their very nature beyond the reach of goods or services that are federally restricted. In fact, did you know that the federal government applied for and obtained a cannabis-related patent? The USPTO issued US Patent No. 6,630,507, which claims methods of treating diseases comprising administering cannabinoids. That certainly lends credibility to the value of these new cannabis technologies and the potential business opportunities.
WHAT KIND OF PATENT PROTECTION IS AVAILABLE FOR CANNABIS AND CBD?
In order for an idea to be patented, the idea must be new, non-obvious, sufficiently articulated by the inventor, and provide a certain threshold of utility to society. Patent law prohibits patent protection for naturally existing products under 35 U.S.C. *101. That make sense. If something already existing in nature, the inventor did not invent anything new. Sure, he or she discovered it, but we can*t award him or her a monopoly on something that existed in nature. However, we can award a patent for a novel use or application of the plant and its components such as methods of treating or ameliorating diseases or symptoms of disease (e.g., epilepsy or chronic pain) or compositions (e.g., topical creams or smoking products). We can also award a patent for novel ways of processing the naturally existing plant to derive component parts that can be included in other products such as methods of selecting cannabis strains or extraction and processing improvements. We can even award a patent for novel devices and apparatus used in the cultivation, processing, dispensing and using of cannabis and CBD (e.g., vaporizers or, nebulizers). We can even patent new cannabis strains or modified cannabis. Plant patents *may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant.* *Asexually propagated plants* are defined by the USPTO as *those that are reproduced by means other than from seeds, such as by the rooting of cuttings, by layering, budding, grafting, inarching, etc." Living subject matter is patentable if it undergoes a sufficient amount of genetic altering and engineering.
Multiple types of patent protection for a single product are also available. For example, design patents may be obtained to protect the ornamental features of a new and non-obvious design for bottles, delivery devices, or packaging.
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