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Psychoactives and Cannabis

There has been a sharp increase in interest in the therapeutic effect of various psychoactive substances in recent years, including cannabis, psilocybin and ketamine amongst many others. A number of trials have shown that these previously neglected substances have interesting and important effects in the treatment of certain disorders, often where standard therapies have failed.

Accompanying this increase in interest, the psychoactives and cannabis field has become an extremely active area for the filing of patent applications. In these fast-moving fields, patent filing strategy needs to be responsive, flexible and innovative. The substances at issue have also often been known for a long time, presenting unique challenges in terms of the prior art for new patent applications. The activity in these fields demands that companies look to trade mark specialists at the earliest opportunity as they seek to clear and protect their brands. Trade mark protection can bring unique challenges where the laws across the UK and EU are not harmonious in their interpretation of what may constitute a mark contrary to public policy or morality and thus guidance as to the form of mark to be protected is important to avoid rejection.

J A Kemp’s psychoactives team is well-placed to assist with the opportunities and challenges in this area. With patent attorneys having technical expertise across the full spectrum of the sciences and trade mark attorneys used to complex and fast-moving situations, J A Kemp can assist companies in protecting all stages of the development of a product based on psychoactive substances: from cultivation, synthesis and isolation, through therapeutic assessment, formulation and product development, and finally onto marketing and branding. Our specialists in plant variety rights are also on hand to assist with protecting new varieties of plants associated with psychoactive and cannabis derived inventions.