Latest Cannabis Patent Infringement Lawsuit – Who Could Be Next?

In what was supposed to be a pivotal case in cannabis, the United Cannabis v. Pure Hemp Collective patent litigation was brought to a less than desired ending when UCANN announced bankruptcy and sitting Judge William J. Martinez closed the case. Now comes a new patent infringement case to start August off and give everyone something to watch as the year ends. 

Gene Pool Technologies delivered news to two subsidiaries of Halo Collective of its pursuit of damages for 5 patents it claims the two companies have willfully infringed after it says it “spent months attempting to engage Halo in good-faith licensing discussions regarding Gene Pool’s patent portfolio” with no response. Halo’s unwillingness to settle has led Gene Pool to “vigorously defend our patent rights,”  said Gene Pool’s CEO Stephen Martin. 

Halo’s subsidiary Coastal Harvest is accused by Gene Pool to have infringed on Gene’s closed-loop cannabinoid extraction patents U.S. Patent Nos. 9,144,751, 9,145,532, and 9,587,203. In addition, Gene Pool asserts Halo’s subsidiary ANM infringes the aforementioned patents as well as U.S. Patent Nos. 9,604,155 and 9,757,664 also related to extraction. All five patents are currently assigned to Gene Pool Technologies and were invented by individuals not listed on Gene Pool’s website but who appear to be involved with Gene Pool Technologies’ partner Udoxi Scientific. Patent asset acquisitions and licensing is something that Gene Pool states as a service of its. Gene Pool Technologies seems to have interest in patents with open continuations on them. In fact, patent ‘751 has had 7 additional patent applications filed stemming from it which opens the door to many opportunities. 

Could Gene Pool go after someone else following the conclusion of this case? Patent ‘751 was previously used against Precision Extraction in 2016 by its previous owner Udoxi Scientific. The inventors listed on the patent formed Udoxi Scientific in 2013 but had not assigned ownership of the patent assets to Udoxi before the cease and desist was sent to Precision Extraction claiming Udoxi was the owner of the patent. The case was eventually dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction. Now, patent ‘751 is being used by Udoxi partner and now owner of patent ‘751 Gene Pool Technologies. Gene Pool could have sights on other targets in the industry like Luna Technologies or Summit Extraction Systems which also develop closed-loop extraction systems. Luna Technologies and its parent company Luna Innovations lack patents for their closed-loop extraction technology which leaves them quite vulnerable.

Litigation in the cannabis space is still in its infancy and this case could become a significant one for the future of cannabis IP protection. Patent Forecast will keep a close eye on the proceedings. Stay updated with the most relevant patent and market developments in cannabis using the Cannabis Patent Forecast®.