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Can You Trademark a Hashtag?

Feb 28, 2024

In the fast-paced world of social media, where trends come and go quicker than you can say "tweet," owning a hashtag might sound like the ultimate power move. But can you really trademark a hashtag? The short answer is yes, but there's more to it than just slapping a ™️ on your favorite phrase.

Why would anyone want to trademark a hashtag anyway? Well, for starters, it's becoming increasingly common for brands, both big and small, to want legal ownership over certain hashtags. This allows them to use the hashtags in their posts and also prevents others from hijacking them for their own purposes.

But before you go hashtag-crazy with the trademark applications, there are a few things you need to consider. First and foremost, the hashtag in question needs to serve as a source identifier for your brand. In other words, when people see the hashtag, it should immediately bring your brand to mind.

Take Coca-Cola, for example. They've trademarked the hashtag #SmileWithACoke. It's a perfect fit because whenever you see that hashtag, you can't help but think of Coca-Cola and their iconic smile-inducing beverages. That's the kind of association you want to aim for if you're thinking about trademarking a hashtag.

Now, here's where things get tricky. You can't just pick any old hashtag and expect to trademark it. It needs to be distinctive and unique to your brand. So sorry, but #Love or #Happy are off the table. These are way too generic and wouldn't pass muster with the trademark office.

Unfortunately, some business owners fall into the trap of thinking that owning a hashtag is akin to snagging a cool domain name. But that's simply not the case. Trademarks are all about protecting your brand identity and preventing consumer confusion. So unless your hashtag is as distinctive as #SmileWithACoke, you might want to rethink your trademarking strategy.

In conclusion, yes, you can trademark a hashtag on social media, but it's not something to be taken lightly. Make sure the hashtag is distinctive and serves as a source identifier for your brand. And remember, owning a trademark is about more than just bragging rights—it's about protecting your brand and ensuring that your message resonates loud and clear in the noisy world of social media.

Are you ready?

Now, if you're ready to take that important step in safeguarding your brand, don't hesitate to reach out to Indie Law. We are specialists in trademark law and will handle the entire process for you. If you are unsure - Indie Law has secured over 900 trademarks for brands across the US and is 5* rated on Google with 130+ reviews from satisfied clients! Book a call with our knowledgeable and friendly team today, and we'll take care of everything, ensuring a smooth and successful trademark journey. So what are you waiting for? Start the process to protect your brand TODAY by giving Indie Law a call. Your brand deserves protection – let Indie Law make it happen!


Without Trademarks, You Have ZERO Rights to Your Brand!

We’re talking business names, logos, slogans . . . even podcast titles. Lots of entrepreneurs don’t protect their trademarks until it’s too late. So we made a short, free video to help you avoid the biggest, most dangerous mistakes that business owners make.

Wanna see it?