Patenting the intellectual property of cannabis has become trickier than thought possible. Because of the illicit history of the substance, it is not straightforward when it comes to going through legal channels for intellectual property protection, making patents difficult, if not impossible, to acquire.
Patents are hard to get for just about any type of industry, so cannabis is not unique in that sense. Yet, it is particularly challenging for the cannabis industry as companies all aim to have the patented rights to their specific strains and brands, with the additional difficulty that legalization of cannabis is entirely new to Canada and only becoming legalized in certain U.S. states. Within the cannabis industry, there are several pieces that could be patented, including the growing methods, genetic modifications, formulations, and even the consumption or use. There are so many factors at stake that patents have become a headache and difficult to navigate.
Unfortunately, it seems like cannabis patents are headed in the direction of the pharmaceutical industry, with lawyers and money driving the ship. Most of the patent disputes will likely wind up in court with judges and lawyers having to work out which company’s claims are valid. The result is likely the merger of various cannabis companies as they try to make sense of this fledgling industry.3 months ago