As from 1 January 2020, medicinal cannabis will be added as registered ‘goods’ under the Nice Classification System. This harmonises the procedure for registration of trademarks for medicinal cannabis for all 85 countries that are members of the international trademark register.

Until now, there has not been a uniform procedure for registration of trademarks for medicinal cannabis in the Nice Classification System. The reason for this is that medicinal cannabis has not been officially registered goods under the system. Consequently, it has been up to the national authorities how to register such trademarks. This has had the unfortunate result that some applicants have had their trademark applications refused.

With the update of the Classification System, trademarks for medicinal cannabis may be registered under class 5 across the 85 member countries from January 2020. Class 5 is the same class that covers medicinal products and dietary supplements.

Like several other countries, Denmark  has  relaxed the legislation on cannabis by introducing a  four-  year medicinal cannabis pilot programme (please see previous newsletters on this pilot programme  here  and here). The Danish pilot programme, as well as   the relaxation of the legislation on cannabis in other countries, has opened a market for medicinal cannabis and an underlying need for trademarks covering medicinal cannabis products.

The Danish Patent and Trademark Office has announced that it has experienced an increased number of trademark applications containing the word cannabis, from only one application in 2016 and 29 applications last year to 54 applications in the first  half of 20191. For the same reason, businesses, public authorities and advisors welcome the possibility for registering medicinal cannabis as ‘goods’ under the Nice Classification System.