'Feel the Bern' cigarette papers may be bad news for Sanders

By Ann Marie Awad   |   Feb. 12, 2016 at 7:58 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- A patent application for "Feel the Ben" cigarette rolling papers could send a message that Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign would be uncomfortable with.

The application, filed by Patrick Robert Nagle -- who is unaffiliated with Sanders' campaign -- seeks to capitalize on the "Feel the Bern" slogan that's grown in popularity as Sanders has risen in the polls.

"It could present a problem for Bernie, optically," lawyer Joanne Ludovici told The Hill.

Patent applications sometimes take as long as 10 months to be finalized, and in the meantime, Nagle is allowed to use the phrase to market his product.

"There are a number of reasons the Trademark Office could refuse it," Ludovici said. "The question will be whether it creates a false association with the Bernie Sanders campaign."

While the association with tobacco would not look great for the Vermont senator, the possible association with recreational marijuana might be okay. Sanders campaigns on legalizing marijuana, and he even touts an endorsement from Tommy Chong of "Cheech and Chong" fame, who calls Sanders "commander in kush."

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