If you've had difficult tracking down a few grams of 'Skywalker' indica in past months you're not alone. George Lucas's famous 'Star Wars' brand is just one of many that has begun to crackdown on trademark infringements in the cannabis industry.
As pot becomes increasing legalized across the United States, trademark holders are becoming more concerned about potential damages caused by allowing their products to be associated with cannabis, according to Leafly's Deserea Weitmann. Additionally, the legal status of cannabis allows more power to prosecute when these kinds of infringements come up.
“Traditionally, trademark has only been enforceable for certain classes of goods or services for which you filed the mark,” Weitmann said. “However, there are exceptions. One exception is tarnishing of a famous mark, wherein brands can argue that association of a well-known mark or famous mark with certain goods and/or services, which the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) refers to an ‘unsavory association,’ causes dilution of their trademark.”
Trademark holders promoting a film or other product intended for child audiences are particularly concerned about their brands having potentially illicit associations.
“Brands that hold famous marks related to entertainment that would be enjoyed by minors, candy, or other goods that would be consumed by minors, or other similar goods or services that are marketed to minors, are especially sensitive to association with the cannabis industry,” Weitmann added.
Of course, with the huge amount of money generated by the legal marijuana industry, maybe Mr. Lucas is simply gearing up to produce his own official line of Star Wars-branded marijuana products. R2-D2 themed vape pens anyone?