Buddle is an online legal services platform tailored to the unique needs of cannabis businesses.
Buddle empowers cannabis business owners to handle simple legal tasks on their own and save money on costly legal fees. Buddle offers the legal documents you need to start your cannabis business, scale your business and deal with the day-to-day legal questions facing entrepreneurs, apply for a license to operate a cannabis business in states where recreational use is fully legal, and protect and grow your brand with trademark protections--all at affordable prices and with a convenient, easy-to-follow interface.
At Buddle, we believe that high quality legal services should be accessible to all.
Buddle is not a law firm and none of the information on this website constitutes or is intended to convey legal advice. Buddle provides generalized resources and information about the law and does not give advice as to the application of the law to any specific situation or individual. For its trademark services, Buddle cannot and does not guarantee that an application will be approved by the USPTO, or that any particular mark will be protected from infringement. If you want to obtain legal advice we encourage you to consult with an attorney.
For more information, visit our About Us page.
What is a trademark and what does it do?
Trademark protection is available for certain brand names, logos, or slogans that are or will be used in connection with a good or service. If a certain mark is associated with a service, it is called a "service mark". The purpose behind trademark law is for companies and brands to identify their goods or services in the market.
A trademark gives the owner of the mark the exclusive right to use the mark. A trademark owner can prevent others from using a similar mark that could be confusing for the general public. Even if two marks are not identical, if a reasonable consumer might confuse or conflate the two, the trademark owner can prevent a confusingly similar mark from being used. However, the same mark may be used by two different companies or brands if they are selling materially different goods or services. Trademarks are registered through the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Why run a search for similar trademarks?
Running a comprehensive trademark search before you apply for a trademark registration will save time and money by helping the applicant to avoid obvious duplications of pre-existing marks and nonrefundable applications fees.
Running a simple search with the USPTO database will not guarantee that a mark is available as a pre-existing mark user may have failed to register their mark. In that case, a registration could be subject to challenge by the owner of the earlier-used mark based on common law trademark rights. That’s why we recommend using a comprehensive mark search.
What’s the difference between in use and intent to use?
In use simply means that you are already selling your goods or services. When you are preparing to start selling your goods and services but have not yet done so, you should file on an “intent to use” basis. After you start selling your goods and services you will need to file a “statement of use” with the USPTO documenting that you are using the mark in commerce.
I’ve already incorporated my business or registered my trade name in my state, do I need a trademark?
While use of a name to sell a good or service may provide common law trademark rights, registering a trademark with the USPTO ensures that you own your mark and can prevent others from using it. Registering a trademark affords nationwide protection, presumed ownership of the mark, as well as additional remedies in court.
What is the USPTO filing fee?
The standard USPTO filing fee per trademark class is $275.
What happens after a mark is submitted to the USPTO? How long does it take to receive the trademark?
Once your application is filed, it will generally be reviewed by the USPTO in about 3-4 months. If there are no issues with your application, the mark will be published in the Official Gazette, where the public has the opportunity to challenge the mark. If there are no challenges within 30 days the mark will be registered within about 3 months. So the entire process can take about 7-8 months, if there are no issues with the application. Any application errors or questions on behalf of the USPTO regarding your application will cause a delay in this process.
How long does a trademark last?
After the initial registration, trademarks generally need to be renewed by filing a Declaration of Continued Use between the fifth and sixth anniversary of the initial filing and again between the ninth and tenth year. After that, renewal is every ten years.
How do you decide which class to use?
The USPTO organizes the goods and services associated with trademarks into 45 different classes. When you register a mark, it needs to be for one or more particular classes of goods or services. This allows different companies to use the same mark. For example, you can buy a bar of soap and a bar of chocolate that are both under the Dove brand, though they’re manufactured by completely different companies. Because the same mark can be registered to different companies in different classes, it may be helpful to register your mark in multiple classes to fully protect your brand. Note, however, that the USPTO charges a filing fee for each individual class for which you register your mark.
In deciding what class to assign to your mark, first determine whether you are providing goods, services, or both. A good is a generally a tangible item, like a computer, lipstick, a painting, or a computer software. A service is more like an activity such as accounting, web development, hair styling, or personal training. The USPTO provides a video with guidance about the different trademark classes, but we’ve included a brief description of each below:
Class 1: Chemical Products
Industrial and scientific chemicals, as well as those used in agriculture and food preservation.
Class 2: Paint Products
Paints, varnishes, lacquers and resins used for home repair; decoration, art, and printing.
Class 3: Cosmetics and Cleaning Products
Soaps and detergents, cleaning substances, cosmetics, essential oils, hair products, perfumes.
Class 4: Lubricant and Fuel Products
Industrial oils, lubricants, fuel; candles and wicks for lighting.
Class 5: Pharmaceutical Products
Pharmaceutical and veterinary products; dietetic substances for medical use; food for babies; plasters and bandages, dental wax, disinfectants; extermination products, fungicides, herbicides.
Class 6: Metal Goods
Metals, alloys, ores; cables and wires made of metal; metal hardware, pipes, and tubes; safes, metal goods not included in other classes.
Class 7: Machinery
Machines, motors, engines (except for land vehicles), tools, machine components, agricultural implements other than hand-operated.
Class 8: Hand Tools
Hand tools, cutlery, razors.
Class 9: Electrical and Scientific Devices and Products
All software whether scientific, industrial, or artistic; mechanisms for recording or transmitting sound or images including discs; automatic vending machines, calculators, cash registers, data processing machines.
Class 10: Medical Instrument and Supply Products
Surgical, medical, dental, orthopedic, and veterinary implements; artificial body parts; suture materials.
Class 11: Appliances and Environmental Control Products
Products for lighting, heating, cooking, refrigerating, drying, humidifying, water supply, and sanitation.
Class 12: Vehicles
Land, air, and water vehicles.
Class 13: Firearms
Firearms, ammunition, explosives, fireworks.
Class 14: Jewelry and Precious Metal Products
Jewelry; precious metals, alloys, and stones; chronometric instruments.
Class 15: Musical Instruments
Instruments for making music.
Class 16: Paper Goods and Printed Materials
Paper, cardboard, printed matter and goods made from these materials; photographs, adhesives for stationery, bookbinding material; artists’ materials including paint brushes, typewriters and office supplies, teaching materials, plastic materials for packaging not included in other classes.
Class 17: Rubber Goods
Rubber, gum, asbestos, mica and goods made from these materials; packing and insulation materials, flexible pipes.
Class 18: Leather Goods
Leather and imitation leather goods not including clothing; animal skins; trunks and suitcases, umbrellas, saddlery.
Class 19: Non-Metallic Building Material Products
Non-metallic building materials such as asphalt or pitch.
Class 20: Furniture and Articles Not Otherwise Classified
Furniture, picture frames, mirrors; goods not included in other classes made of wood, cork, cane, wicker and other materials typical of decorative goods.
Class 21: Houseware and Glass
Kitchen utensils, glassware, porcelain and earthenware not included in other classes, articles for cleaning; combs, sponges, brushes.
Class 22: Cordage and Fibers
Ropes, nets, string, tents, sacks and bags (not included in other classes); raw fibrous textile materials; padding and stuffing materials (except rubber or plastic).
Class 23: Yarns and Threads
Yarns and threads for use in textiles.
Class 24: Fabrics
Class 25: Clothing
Clothing, shoes, headgear.
Class 26: Lace, Embroidery, and Fancy Products
Lace, embroidery, ribbons, buttons, pins, needles, sewing implements.
Class 27: Floor Coverings
Carpets, rugs, mats, linoleum, wallpaper, and other floor and wall coverings.
Class 28: Toys and Sporting Goods
Games, toys, sporting equipment and articles, christmas tree decorations.
Class 29: Meats and Processed Foods
Meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, edible oils, dried and cooked produce, jams.
Class 30: Staple Food Products
Flour, yeast, baking powder, rice, cereal, pastry, candy, honey, spices, coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar, condiments.
Class 31: Natural Agricultural Products
Agricultural and plant-based products and grains not included in other classes; animals, fresh produce, seeds, natural plants and flowers; animal food.
Class 32: Beers and Light Beverages
Nonalcoholic beverages, beer, syrup for making beverages.
Class 33: Wines and Spirits (not including beer)
Alcoholic beverages (excluding beer).
Class 34: Tobacco and Smoking Products
Tobacco, smoking implements and articles, matches.
Class 35: Advertising and Business Services
Advertising, business management and administration, retail services.
Class 36: Insurance and Financial Services
Insurance, accounting, financial and monetary affairs, real estate.
Class 37: Building Construction and Repair Services
Building construction, repair, installation.
Class 38: Telecommunications Services
Services allowing people to communicate with each other.
Class 39: Shipping and Travel Services
Transportation, shipping, packaging, and storage services; travel arrangement.
Class 40: Material Treatment Services
Treatment and processing of materials.
Class 41: Educational and Entertainment Services
Services providing education, training, entertainment; sporting and cultural activities.
Class 42: Science and Technology Services
Design and development of computer software and hardware; scientific research and design.
Class 43: Hotel, Food, and Beverage Services
Services providing food, drink, and temporary accommodations.
Class 44: Medical, Beauty, and Agricultural Services
Medical and veterinary services; hygenic and beauty care; agricultural, horticultural, and forestry services.
Class 45: Personal, Legal, and Social Services
Legal, security, social, and other personal services.
Cannabis Business FAQs
Can you guarantee that I'll get licensed to start my business?
Since we are not the governing body - the people who approve or deny applications - it's impossible to guarantee that you'll be licensed.
What are the qualifications to enter the recreational or medical marijuana industry?
You should be at least 18 years of age, not have a criminal background and, in certain circumstances, be a resident of the state you wish to have your business in. Connect with one of our cannabis specialists for more information.
My state hasn't legalized the sale of marijuana yet. What can I do?
You can get started by forming your corporate entity and protecting your brand. Form your corporate entity or file a trademark with Buddle today and be prepared when your state legalizes recreational marijuana sales.
Do I need to incorporate as an LLC or Non-Profit?
Almost all states with marijuana laws require a business structure put into place before being licensed to operate your business. Whether it has to be a non-profit or LLC or other entity type will depend on the state for your proposed business and what they require and allow.
Can I get a license for my business without a location?
During the licensing process for every business type, it is required for you to designate the place where the business will be operated. In some cases this can be shown by a letter of intent or option to purchase the property.
Can I be a grower and/or manufacturer and own a dispensary?
Possibly. It highly depends on your state, county and city. Connect with one of our cannabis specialists for more information on the regulations in your jurisdiction.
Can I ship marijuana?
The United States Postal Service as well as he other major delivery carriers strictly prohibit marijuana from being shipped, whether interstate or not.
Please contact us with any additional questions you have that are not answered by these FAQs.