Trademark registration application for “Herbalist” withdrawn

A trademark application has been withdrawn for the word "herbalist" after a coordinated industry effort.

Following a coordinated effort, an application trademark for the word “herbalist” was successfully challenged, resulting in the withdrawal of the trademark registration application. The application was submitted by HerbalistSP LLC, a company that provides demo services in the alcoholic beverage industry with in-store samples of adult beverages. On June 9, 2020, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a publication inviting opposition to the pending trademark registration for “Herbalist.”

Following the issuance of this publication, prominent U.S. herbalists contacted the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA; Silver Spring, MD), the American Botanical Council (ABC; Austin, TX) and the American Herbalists Guild (AHG; Asheville, NC), asking for the groups to join in their opposition of the trademark. Along with two legacy brands, Herbalist & Alchemist and Traditional Medicinals, AHPA, ABC, and AHG jointly filed a formal Notice of Opposition to the application before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. The goal was to prevent consumer confusion concerning the term “herbalist.”

Ultimately, HerbalistSP LLC withdrew its application, and now states on its website: “HerbalistSP has no affiliation with medical, medicinal or herbal products; nor with herbalism or herbalists; and provides no education related to herbals or practicing herbalism.”

“This was a great opportunity for cooperation all across our dynamic herbal community,” said AHPA’s president, Michael McGuffin, in a press release. “And of course the outcome made all of our work worthwhile at the end, similar to our success in having a trademark for the name ‘rooibos’ abandoned almost 20 years ago.”