Hashtag Trademarks: Legal and Practical Implications of Use by Brand Owners or Third Parties

A live 90-minute premium CLE webinar with interactive Q&A

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

1:00pm-2:30pm EDT, 10:00am-11:30am PDT

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE webinar will guide trademark counsel on the use of trademarks as hashtags. The panel will examine the pros and cons of using a mark as a hashtag. The panel will discuss determining whether to use a mark as a hashtag, how to use it, and the steps to take to protect the mark when using it as a hashtag. The panel will also address the pros and cons of registering hashtags as trademarks.


More and more brand owners are using hashtags that integrate their trademarks. Brand owners also see their marks used by third parties as hashtags on social media. Should registered marks be used as hashtags? What are some of the complications that can arise from third-party use of a mark as (or within) a hashtag? Should a hashtag be registered as a trademark?

Hashtags can be found all over social media and can be a great tool to build brand awareness. However, companies and counsel should keep in mind that the brand owner may not appreciate your use of their marks as a hashtag. Further, the use may give rise to an infringement or other claim.

This is a complex area, and counsel should consider all potential implications of using a trademark as a hashtag both by the brand owner and third parties, as well as the utility and benefits of registering hashtags for trademark protection.

Listen as our authoritative panel of IP attorneys examines the use of trademarks as hashtags.



  1. Can a hashtag function as a trademark?
  2. Using one's own trademark as a hashtag
    1. Pros and cons
    2. Fair use and other considerations when determining whether to use the mark as a hashtag
  3. When can the use of a hashtag give rise to liability?
    1. Case examples
    2. Approval process
    3. Monitoring marks
  4. IP protection
    1. Can it be registered as a mark? Should it be?
    2. Enforcement considerations


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What considerations should brand owners and their counsel weigh when determining whether to use a trademark as a hashtag?
  • What should a brand owner consider before using a hashtag?
  • What are some best practices for the protection of your hashtags?


Bell, David
David A. Bell

Partner, Chair - Trademark Practice Group
Haynes and Boone

As the chair of the firm’s Trademark Practice Group, Mr. Bell is called upon by multinational corporations and...  |  Read More

Coates, Stephen
Stephen J. Coates

Coates IP

Mr. Coates is an expert on areas surrounding trademarks, copyright, domain names, unfair competition, marketing,...  |  Read More

Samuels, William
William R. Samuels

Scarinci Hollenbeck

Mr. Samuels, Chair of the firm’s Copyright and Trademark Practices, is a seasoned intellectual property attorney...  |  Read More

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