Social media has entirely transformed businesses and how they operate and market themselves. It gives them a new, exciting way to connect directly with customers, promote their brand, advertise to specific audiences, and get instant feedback from their markets. Social media has changed how businesses work, and hashtags are vital to social media.
If you’ve created a unique hashtag that represents your brand and wants to protect it, read on to learn more about how to patent a hashtag. Hashtag trademarks are an intelligent way to protect intellectual property, but trademark registration can be complex. To get trademark protection for your intellectual property, you’ll need the help of a trademark attorney.
How to Patent a Hashtag
If you have an essential hashtag for your company, you might wonder if you can patent it. The short answer is, no, you cannot patent a hashtag. A United States patent is only used to protect unique and novel inventions, processes, and designs, and would not extend to words or phrases like hashtags. A utility patent does not apply here, either.
If you want to protect a hashtag that is important to your business or its marketing plan, you can register it with the patent and trademark office as a trademark instead of a patent. Hashtags do not fall under the categories that patent law protects because they are not considered inventions, and they also don’t qualify for design patent protection because they consist only of words preceded by the number sign and don’t have a unique design or appearance.
While you can’t patent a hashtag with the patent and trademark office, you can undoubtedly trademark a hashtag if it meets specific eligibility requirements. The only way to know if your hashtag is eligible is to contact a trademark attorney from Goldstein Patent Law and schedule a free strategy call.
What Is a Trademark?
- Identifies the source of your goods or services.
- Provides legal protection for your brand.
- Helps you guard against counterfeiting and fraud.
A trademark is a symbol that helps people recognize and distinguish the goods or services of one company from another. While a hashtag alone doesn’t have any identifying significance, when used next to or near a product name or campaign tagline, it can serve as a trademark and be registered. If you’re wondering if you have a registrable trademark, our law firm can help you get answers.
Why Should I Consider Trademarking a Hashtag?
Hashtags can be powerful tools for promoting your products and engaging customers. They work to create buzz around a specific topic and help companies build and change their online presence as they go.
Hashtags are a big deal on social media, as companies spend a lot of money advertising their products using hashtags. They have become so important that people now link certain hashtags with specific brands or businesses–which is one of the reasons why businesses must protect their hashtags, especially after investing a lot of money to make them a success.
However, as social media becomes more ingrained in our lives, there are complex intellectual property challenges that companies and their lawyers need to understand. For this reason, it’s crucial to talk to a trademark attorney early on in the process. In addition to trademarking a hashtag, it’s’ crucial to understand trademark infringement. Our lawyers will not only help you get the protection you need. Still, we can advise you regarding trademark infringement to ensure your intellectual property rights are always upheld.
What Is the Difference Between Owning a Trademark and Having a Registered Trademark?
According to the trademark office, “You become a trademark owner as soon as you start using your trademark with your goods or services. You establish rights in your trademark by using it, but those rights are limited, and they only apply to the geographic area in which you’re providing your goods or services. If you want stronger, nationwide rights, you’ll need to apply to register your trademark with us.
You’re not required to register your trademark. However, a registered trademark provides broader rights and protections than an unregistered one.
For example, you use a logo as a trademark for the handmade jewelry you sell at a local farmer’s market. As your business grows and you expand online, you might want more protection for your trademark and decide to apply for federal registration. Registering your trademark with us means that you create nationwide rights in your trademark.”
What Kind of Hashtags Are Not Eligible for Trademark?
If you want a hashtag trademark, you must meet specific criteria. A hashtag is not automatically a trademark symbol once a brand uses it. However, it can be protected if it represents a specific source or company. The trademark office will not grant a hashtag trademark if the hashtag is vague or a common conversational phrase. Hashtag trademarks must be considered a recognition of a traditional trademark to be protected under trademark law.
How Does an Examining Attorney Successfully Register a Trademarked Hashtag?
To get a trademarked hashtag for your intended social media message, you’ll need to ensure the hashtag is not vague or an already-used common phrase. A lawyer can’t automatically provide legal protection for this kind of intellectual property, so you must apply with the trademark office to get trademark protection.
Submitting a successful application for trademark protection can be a complex process. Trademark registration is an essential step for your business, so filling out the application with the help of a trademark lawyer is crucial. A lawyer will help you understand what must be proven to trademark a hashtag and help make sense of any associated fees and costs.
Even if your application for a hashtag trademark is denied, our lawyers at Goldstein Patent Law can file an appeal with the trademark office and resubmit a stronger application. Never gamble with your intellectual property; always get advice from an attorney before applying for legal protection of a hashtag.