Brand-Name Bud? Gold Rush To Patent Marijuana Strains Gets Snuffed By U.S. Patent Office

Correction: Commenters correctly pointed out that the patent office created a trademark category, not a patent category, for weed before reversing the decision.

A gold rush to obtain federal trademarks patents on strains of marijuana such as Acapulco Gold, Maui Wowie and even straight-up "Chronic" was snuffed out last week by the federal patent office, according to a report in Monday's Wall Street Journal.

The move came following inquiries by the Journal regarding the new federal trademark patent category: "Processed plant matter for medicinal purposes, namely medical marijuana." Unfortunately or not, marijuana is still federally outlawed, and the patent office pulled the category.

So, what were the patent-office workers smoking when they created the category April 1. Did they realize that was April Fool's Day?

Patent office spokesman Peter Pappas told the Journal the category "raises examination issues ... It was a mistake and we have removed it."

We're not sure what's worse: That someone was going to be able to trademark patent a decades-old nom-de-pot such as Acapulco Gold, thereby elbowing out others who would use the title, or the apparent lack of oversight by well-paid federal authorities.

Either way, we envision a day when the continuing privatization of intellectual property and even certain crops will spread to include brand-name bud.

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