Obama Patent Office approves, then nixes trademarks for marijuana

Now, as it turns out, selling pot is a federal crime. So creating a new category of trademark specifically for marijuana was, well, ill-advised.

It's Thursday, so it's time for another installment of our exciting series "Your Tax Dollars at Work". In this week's installment, we bring you the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, some creative souls at the USPTO created a new category of trademarkable item: "Processed plant matter for medicinal purposes, namely medical marijuana".

Now, as it turns out, selling pot is a federal crime. So creating a new category of trademark specifically for marijuana was, well, ill-advised.

Now, here's where it gets fun and where we're wondering exactly which heads will roll. As it turns out, the USPTO created this new category on April 1, 2010. Yep, April Fool's Day.

It wasn't a joke, however, to the hundreds of opportunistic entrepreneurs who immediately filed trademark applications for such medical-sounding substances as Maui Wowie, Chronic, Budtrader and Keef Cola.

This week, according to USPTO spokesman Peter Pappas, that category has been removed. Entrepreneurs are still welcome to apply for trademarks, according to Pappas, but they're no longer able to have a category all their own.

The catch: the USPTO has never actually granted a trademark for anything pot-related.

Ah, well. Brings a whole new meaning to "This bud's for you."

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