Creativity is, for many of us, the asset most synonymous with development. This quality of the human mind allows us to evolve in all of the processes and activities that each of us undertake every day. But how can we protect our creations? We can protect our IP rights by calling for the help of a lawyer who is specialized in the field of intellectual property.
The gift of creativity has offered us the possibility to interact much more with others on social media. Thus, people have created hashtags, which are nothing more than a way for users to search for a topic much faster. It is also a way for you to draw attention to this topic much more easily.
Analysing the definition that the USPTO offers to the hashtag from a trademark perspective, it falls into a form of metadata consisting of a single word or an expression with the symbol # before, most often used on social networks to make it easier to search for a keyword. When an entity applies for the registration of a trademark based on the use of a hashtag, there are several factors that are taken into account, namely: the context, how that hashtag is used, and especially the categories of goods and services that are identified with that hashtag.
Regarding the context in which the hashtag is used, if the office notices that the hashtag is not being used in order to identify the brand itself, it is very likely that the trademark application will be rejected immediately. It should also be noted that, in order to register a hashtag as a trademark, it is imperative that it is used to specify the products or services that the company creates/produces. In other words, the trademark that an owner wants to register must represent both the personality of the company and the specific context in which it will be used.
Once obtained, you have to be very careful when it comes to maintaining its protection. There might be a situation in which a user on social media uses a link related to your trademark, without their post making reference to the company in question. Thus, the issue of a possible infringement may arise.
To conclude, hashtags are a good way to promote your company, but also to stimulate people’s interest in marketing campaigns which you are promoting. In this way, the importance of the hashtag from a legal perspective should not be ruled out. This can turn an ordinary business into a successful business. By obtaining a trademark for the hashtag, the company looks to gain value both from a legal point of view and from the point of view of the brand’s popularity.