Federal judge allows landmark marijuana patent suit to proceed


A Denver federal judge denied an early motion to toss out most aspects of a landmark cannabis patent lawsuit, allowing the case to proceed toward a jury trial.

The suit, filed last summer by Colorado-based United Cannabis Corp. (UCANN), alleges Pure Hemp Collective, also of Colorado, infringed on a patent related to a cannabinoid-based medical product formula.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Marijuana industry attorneys have closely watched the case because such formulations – if upheld as intellectual property – can substantially increase the value and competitive edge of a cannabis business.
  • Pure Hemp argued UCANN’s claims aren’t patentable and such “substantially pure liquid CBD products are ubiquitous” in the marketplace.
  • U.S. District Judge William Martinez, in a decision last week, acknowledged certain ambiguities in case law but wrote he is convinced this case doesn’t involve “unpatentable subject matter.”

“Taken as a whole, the obvious thrust of the patent is a supposedly new means by which humans can consume cannabinoids so that those cannabinoids can produce the pharmacological effects they are known to have, thus (hopefully) treating or ameliorating various diseases and symptoms,” Martinez wrote.

UCANN is seeking a permanent injunction against Pure Hemp from infringing on its patent, as well as damages and lawyer fees.

Jeff Smith can be reached at [email protected]


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