Almost three years after filing a lawsuit over patent rights, United Cannabis Corporation (UCANN) has dropped its complaint against Pure Hemp Collective.
The basic contention, according to UCANN in the summer of 2018, was that Pure Hemp Collective had infringed on the company’s patent for “[a] liquid cannabinoid formulation wherein at least 95% of the total cannabinoids is cannabidiol (CBD).”
At the time, the dispute was seen as a legal broadside in the emerging intellectual property rights conversation in the cannabis industry. Depending on where the case went, CBD-rich concentrates would be in the crosshairs of a major IP fight.
“It could be construed as an over-broad patent that's going to impact a lot of companies creating these types of products,” David Gold, intellectual property attorney at Cole Schotz, told us in 2018. “The second question ... is whether any of these products—there could be a very sophisticated, unique, new, novel, non-obvious product that is very much patentable that there's no prior art on that at some point is going to be the subject of litigation. Are the courts going to hear it? How is the judge going to treat it when it's clearly used in connection with these controlled substances?”
For the cannabis industry, this case won’t provide the resolution that other businesses may seek.
Last year, UCANN filed for bankruptcy. That case didn’t get far, either, as a judge dismissed the bankruptcy filing due to UCANN’s work in the federally illegal cannabinoid space.
As Law360 reports, the door is left open for Pure Hemp Collective to file a counterclaim.
UCANN’s patent, U.S. Patent No. 9,730,911, remains active.