US Court Allows Patent for Marijuana Formulation

April 23, 2019 by Tom Ramstack
US Court Allows Patent for Marijuana Formulation

A federal court ruling last week set a precedent for property rights to cannabis products in the quickly growing marijuana industry.

U.S. District Judge William Martinez, an Obama appointee who presides in Colorado, ruled that cannabinoid formulations can be considered the unique handiwork of their developers and not naturally occurring substances.

The ruling appears to be a first for the marijuana industry at a time it is being legalized by states nationwide and gaining investors, according to intellectual property attorneys.

A recent report from Arcview Market Research and its research partner BDS Analytics showed spending on legal cannabis worldwide is expected to reach $57 billion by 2027. Cannabis is the active ingredient that makes the marijuana plant a drug.

Adult-use for the recreational market will make up 67 percent of the spending while medical uses take up the rest, according to Arcview Market Research.

The biggest growth is expected in North America, rising from $9.2 billion in 2017 to $47.3 billion a decade later, the report says.

Courts have avoided patent disputes over marijuana previously because only in recent years have states started legalizing it. It remains a Schedule 1 illegal drug under federal law, punishable as a felony offense for possession or sale.

Colorado, where the court ruling was issued, was among the first states to legalize both medicinal and recreational use of marijuana.

The 10th Circuit ruling allows the medical marijuana firm United Cannabis to retain its patent on a liquid cannabinoid formulation that was challenged by a competing company.

The competitor, Pure Hemp Collective, argued that it could sell the same formulation without United Cannabis’ permission because it is a naturally occurring substance.

Only products that represent the unique work of the inventors can win enforceable patents under U.S. law.

Judge Martinez agreed with United Cannabis that its formulation was not “an unpatentable law of nature, a natural phenomenon or an abstract idea.”

He wrote that even if it were “theoretically possible” that cannabinoids could occur in nature in liquid form, the patent specifies threshold concentrations of those cannabinoids.

The patent covers several liquid cannabinoid formulations, including ones that require at least 95 percent of the total cannabinoids be CBD, a non-toxic component of marijuana that relieves chronic pain and other ailments.

“Pure Hemp nowhere claims that these precise concentrations, or anything close to them, occur in liquid form in nature,” Martinez wrote.

Pure Hemp accused United Cannabis in its court filings of trying to monopolize the market for liquid CBD products by incorrectly classifying chemicals found naturally in cannabis plants as a unique product.

“There is no difference between the CBD that can be found naturally within the cannabis plant, and the CBD that is the subject [of claims in the patent],” Pure Hemp wrote in a November court filing.

The case is United Cannabis Corp. v. Pure Hemp Collective Inc. The case number 18-cv-01922, in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.

A+
a-
  • Litigation
  • Marijuana
  • patent
  • In The News

    Health

    Voting

    Litigation

    June 20, 2024
    by Tom Ramstack
    Washington Commanders Settle Lawsuit Alleging Team Withheld Ticket Holders’ Deposits

    WASHINGTON — Virginia’s attorney general this week announced a $1.3 million settlement with the Washington Commanders after the football team... Read More

    WASHINGTON — Virginia’s attorney general this week announced a $1.3 million settlement with the Washington Commanders after the football team was accused of improperly withholding deposits by season ticket holders. The Virginia settlement, which is the largest so far, follows similar settlements with the attorneys general... Read More

    June 17, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Railway Must Pay Tribe $400M for Trespassing Oil Trains

    SEATTLE — The BNSF Railway Co., the largest freight railroad in the United States, must pay a Native American tribe... Read More

    SEATTLE — The BNSF Railway Co., the largest freight railroad in the United States, must pay a Native American tribe in Washington state nearly $400 million for years of illegally transporting crude oil-laden tankers across their land. Monday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik comes... Read More

    June 10, 2024
    by Tom Ramstack
    FCC Wants Net Neutrality Case Transferred to DC Circuit

    WASHINGTON — The Federal Communications Commission is trying to keep a pivotal net neutrality case in Washington, D.C., as the... Read More

    WASHINGTON — The Federal Communications Commission is trying to keep a pivotal net neutrality case in Washington, D.C., as the agency seeks to prevent internet companies from giving preference to favored customers. Along with its motion to transfer the case to the U.S. Circuit Court of... Read More

    April 24, 2024
    by Tom Ramstack
    Madonna Fans Sue After Singer’s Late Arrival in DC

    WASHINGTON — Three Madonna fans are suing the singer for her late arrival and quality of her performance in December... Read More

    WASHINGTON — Three Madonna fans are suing the singer for her late arrival and quality of her performance in December in Washington, D.C. The lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeks class action certification. If the court certifies the class... Read More

    April 15, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Attorneys General, State Legislature Seek Stay of EPA Methane Rule

    WASHINGTON — Attorneys general from 24 states and one state legislature have asked a federal appeals court to stay a... Read More

    WASHINGTON — Attorneys general from 24 states and one state legislature have asked a federal appeals court to stay a new methane emissions rule rolled out by the Environmental Protection Agency. Unveiled in December and finalized on March 8, the rule aims to sharply reduce methane... Read More

    March 28, 2024
    by Tom Ramstack
    Disney World Settles with Florida After Its Opposition to 'Don’t Say Gay' Law

    ORLANDO — The company that runs Walt Disney World reached a settlement Wednesday with appointees of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis... Read More

    ORLANDO — The company that runs Walt Disney World reached a settlement Wednesday with appointees of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis who were exerting controversial regulatory control over the huge tourism complex. The settlement resolves some of the disputes that arose after Disney officials publicly denounced the... Read More

    News From The Well
    scroll top