Hello – welcome to 2019. Because it is 2019, we really have to ask: Can you trademark a hashtag?
In the world of Instagram fame and viral tweets, creatives need to know whether or not their unique hashtags can count as intellectual property and whether or not that property can be properly trademarked. With a bit of guidance form Erica DiAngelo from DiAngelo Law, we found out that YES, you absolutely can trademark your unique hashtags. The difference here is that other people are still able to use the hashtag even though you own it.
Hashtags and Trademarking: The Details
Hashtags are now searchable tools that people use on social media. Ideally, you would want people to use them all the time if it was synonymous with your brand. To qualify for a trademark of your hashtag, it must be used to directly identify a product or service. If you qualify, you can protect yourself from the infringement of other entities on your hashtag and prevent them from impersonating your brand. As stated, others are still free to use your hashtag reasonably on social media.
As an example, our company My Clone Solution provides an array or lead generation services. Because the phrase “lead gen” is descriptive in nature, it could not qualify for trademarking. Whereas if My Clone Solution offered a service called the “Super Lead Solution,” we could trademark it because it describes a specific service we offer.
The Golden Rules for trademarking your hashtag are to make sure that it actually works for your business. Make sure that it is not too generalized or descriptive. Again, these are general guidelines for trademarking. We always recommend seeking out a local expert for all your trademarking needs.