Can you register a trademark for a product or service that’s illegal?
Let’s say you have cannabis shops called Giggles in Colorado and Massachusetts and you want to make sure you can open a Giggles in New Hampshire when they legalize. Or, let’s say you’ve created an amazing new product called Whoa Dude and you want the best protection you can get. Can you do it?
Here’s what the statute says: “No trademark . . . shall be refused registration . . . unless it . . . [c]onsists of or comprises immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter . . .”
There are lots of things that are illegal that are neither immoral, deceptive, nor scandalous and anyway the statute prohibits words that are immoral, deceptive, or scandalous. It’s not referring to the products at all.
So you can get a registration if you’re willing to create a public record affirming, under penalty of perjury, that you’re making or selling a product in violation of federal law.
Would anyone do that?
Among the many applications and registration that include the word “cannabis,” I found only one that flat out says it’s selling a controlled substance: Can-D Rollers LLC of Vancouver, Washington registered THAT TAFFY for: “Dietary and nutritional supplements containing cannabis oil featuring THC or CBD.”
So, the answer is” “Yes. You can get a registration for providing illegal products and services.” But you’re still not going to be able to register Murders R Us without hearing from the giraffe.
 15 USC Section 1052
 When you sign the application you affirm that:
- The mark is in use in commerce on or in connection with the goods/services in the application; and
- The signatory being warned that willful false statements and the like are punishable by fine or imprisonment, or both, under 18 U.S.C. § 1001, and that such willful false statements and the like may jeopardize the validity of the application or submission or any registration resulting therefrom, declares that all statements made of his/her own knowledge are true and all statements made on information and belief are believed to be true.
 There are 1173 live applications and registration is that include the word “marijuana” or “cannabis” in the description of goods and services. The majority of them refer only to providing information and education about marijuana, but 90 of them include goods in International Class 005, which includes pharmaceuticals.
Of those 90, most cop out and refer to the product as: “Herbal supplements; Herbal supplements for treating health problems; Natural herbal supplements” or “None of the foregoing comprising or containing marijuana, hemp, cannabis, or derivatives, extracts, or synthetic iterations or marijuana, hemp or cannabis.”