Building and Protecting Tangible and Intangible Assets (IP) for Your Cannabis Business
We are dedicated to working closely with all of our cannabis business clients in the global cannabis industry to help them build their businesses. In our work, we have found that business owners focus heavily on their tangible assets, including their products and services that they sell to their customers. What is often overlooked are the intangible assets which are also very valuable. While there are a wide range of tangible products that can bring in revenue, what about these intangible assets? What are they, why are they important and why are they so valuable? We help our clients in the marijuana business to realize the monetary value of not only their tangible assets, but also their intangible assets as well. We know that the intellectual property (IP) assets of our clients are extremely valuable. In fact, IP is typically considered to be one of the most valuable assets that any business, institution or organization can have. It's not worth taking any chances with your IP protection in this intensely competitive global cannabis market.
If you have an invention, or an idea for a new type of product, or if you have a particular strain of cannabis that you are growing, have you thought about patent protection? Generally speaking, a patent grants you the right to exclude others from making or using your patented invention, unless you grant others a license to make and use your invention. A patent can also give you and your marijuana business a real competitive advantage over your competitors. We can help you determine if you have a patentable invention, work with you on a patentability search, and help you develop a patenting strategy that is aligned with your business. We can work with you at every step of the process, including strategies for obtaining patent protection in the United States and other countries around the world, especially if you plan to conduct your marijuana business in different countries or regions around the world.
Patent Evergreening Strategies
We can help you develop strategies for expanding your current patent portfolio in the U.S. and globally. We refer to these as our “patent evergreening strategies” which are very beneficial for our clients in the cannabis industry. We understand how to properly expand or evergreen your patent portfolio. Our patent team has over fifteen years’ experience working with clients in other industries and they have successfully developed very effective strategies for expanding the patent portfolios of other clients. This adds tremendous value for your business which is very attractive to investors and potential business partners. A strong patent portfolio also gives your marijuana business a real competitive advantage.
Licensing of your Intellectual Property Rights
If you have a patent that protects your valuable invention in the cannabis industry, there are many ways that you can monetize your patent. We can help you develop strategies for making money off of your patents. For example, we can work with you to develop strategies for granting third parties a license to make and use your patented invention. Typically, under the terms of a license, these third parties will pay you royalties for the right to make and use your patented invention. It can be a great source of revenue for your marijuana business to have this type of royalty stream.
Knowing your Competitors in the Cannabis Industry
We can also help you really understand your competitors in the cannabis industry. From a business standpoint, we know that our clients can really benefit from knowing more about what competitors are doing in the same industry. We can provide you with a competitive landscape, so that you can see what if any patents have been filed by your competitors. Having a competitive landscape can give you and your marijuana business a real competitive edge.
Trade Secret Protection
We also help clients protect their valuable trade secrets which gives them a real competitive advantage. Clients often ask us what is a trade secret and why is it important? If you have, for example, a process or method, a formula or other information that cannot be reasonably ascertained by others, and which can give your business an economic advantage over your competitors, then you may have very valuable trade secrets. We can help you and your business take steps to protect your valuable trade secrets.
We can also help you build and protect a valuable trademark to protect your brand name for your company and your cannabis products. Your brand name is very valuable and helps customers identify your company and your products in the marketplace. We can help you take steps to protect your brand and also to enforce it against any infringers.
IP Due Diligence
If you are in the cannabis industry and you are seeking to grow or expand your business, you may be looking for investors to invest in your business. Or you might be looking to either buy or sell a marijuana business. Whatever your circumstances are, we can help you with the IP due diligence process. What is this and why is it important? If you are considering a business transaction, e.g., with an investor or with another company (for instance, entering a joint venture or a strategic alliance or other type of business collaboration or partnership), the other party or parties in the transaction will typically want to know about your business and your intellectual property (IP). They will need to know if you have any patents, trademarks, and/or other types of IP. We can help make sure that you have a comprehensive summary of your IP so that you will be well-prepared when you enter into any type of business transaction.
Freedom-to-Operate Analysis and other Risk Mitigation Strategies
We can also work with you to provide a very valuable and important freedom-to-operate analysis for your cannabis products and services. What is this and why is it important? Before you decide to develop and launch a proposed new commercial product or process in the marketplace, it is highly recommended that you work with an experienced IP team that can help you analyze your proposed new commercial product or process, and make sure that it does not potentially infringe the IP rights of any third parties. This type of analysis gives you information that helps mitigate your risks of getting into legal trouble with competitors, and helps you to make important business decisions regarding whether you are free to operate, or free to launch your product or process, in the marketplace.
Strategic Partnerships, Joint Ventures and Collaboration Agreements
If you are considering entering into a business partnership with a third party, such as a strategic partnership, joint venture or a collaboration agreement, then we can help guide you through every step of the process. We seek to work with clients long-term for their long-term business success.
Enforcing your valuable IP rights at the I.T.C.
Many companies seek to enforce their valuable patent rights by taking action against accused infringers at the United States International Trade Commission (I.T.C.) (https://www.usitc.gov/). For example, if a U.S.-based company that owns their own U.S. patents has well-established reasons, e.g., based upon their own internal investigation and research, that a foreign company is importing products into the U.S. that infringe the U.S. patent rights of the U.S.-based company, then the U.S.-based company can take action against the foreign company at the I.T.C. It’s all about taking steps to protect your valuable patent rights in the U.S. We can advise you and work with you if you are seeking to take such action at the I.T.C.
If you are interested in commercializing IP that was developed at a college or university, we can help guide you through the technology transfer process. In many cases, start-up companies will often take a license from a college or university if there is interest in commercializing the IP. We can help guide you through this process if you are, for example, a start-up company in the cannabis industry.
Compliance with FDA Labeling Requirements
If you are planning to develop a medicinal cannabis product that requires FDA approval, we can help guide you through the process of understanding the FDA requirements, including FDA’s labeling requirements. We can help make sure that you are in compliance with FDA’s other requirements as well.
Best Practices to Maintain Proper Ownership of IP
Maintaining proper ownership of your IP is perhaps one of the most important best practices there is. We can help make sure that this is handled properly. Our IP team has over fifteen years’ experience with all type of IP ownership issues and we can answer your questions very effectively.
Using Intellectual Property as Valuable Collateral
Many clients and company owners do not realize that they can use their valuable IP as collateral. The truth is that most law firms do not understand this and do not advise their clients of this. If you want to know more, and benefit from this strategy, we can guide you through the process and help you succeed.
TCMS Global is the only cannabis consulting firm that provides you with truly comprehensive IP services. We provide all of these services in a very effective manner and always with your long-term interests in mind. We want your marijuana business to grow and we want you to succeed long-term. Solid IP protection is such an important part of your long-term success. With the ever-increasing competition in the global cannabis industry, it is so important to take every step possible to protect your IP. Please contact us anytime and we look forward to working with you to build, protect and monetize your valuable IP assets.