We’ve written previously about the basics of cannabis patents, which are a substantial area of growth within the cannabis industry, and we’ve written extensively about cannabis trademark litigation (see some of our posts here, here, and here), which has been prolific in the last couple of years, but we’ve seen very little in the way of cannabis-related patent litigation. This is beginning to change.
Last month, Canopy Growth Corporation, based out of Canada, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas against GW Pharmaceuticals, the UK-based producer of Epidiolex, the first cannabis-derived CBD-based anti-seizure medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The lawsuit was filed on December 22, 2020, the same day the USPTO issued U.S. Patent No. 10,870,632 (the “’632 Patent”) titled “Process For Producing An Extract Containing Tetrahydrocannabinol And Cannabidiol From Cannabis Plant Material, And Cannabis Extracts” to Canopy.
The scope of the ‘632 Patent is much broader than a previous patent issued to Canopy in 2014, and the issuance of overly broad patents has been an issue of great concern to the cannabis industry for quite some time now. To the extent that the extraction process covered by