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

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE webinar with Q&A


Conducted on Wednesday, February 27, 2019

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will guide trademark counsel on the use of trademarks as hashtags. The panel will examine the pros and cons as well as the implications of using a mark as a hashtag. The panel will discuss the considerations for 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.

Description

More and more brand owners are using hashtags that integrate their trademarks. Brand owners also see third parties using their marks as hashtags on social media. Should registered marks be used as hashtags? Can the mark be damaged or weakened by using it as 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 use of a mark as a hashtag may be trademark infringement. Further, the brand owner may not approve of the association.

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.

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Outline

  1. Can a hashtag function as a trademark? Can it be registered as a mark? Should it be?
    1. Court treatment
  2. Using a trademark as a hashtag
    1. Pros
    2. Cons
    3. Implications and considerations when determining whether to use the mark as a hashtag
  3. Can use of a hashtag be considered trademark infringement?
    1. Court treatment
    2. Monitoring marks
  4. IP protection
    1. Protecting a mark when using it as a hashtag

Benefits

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?
  • Can a third party's inclusion of a brand's hashtag trademark in a social media post be considered trademark infringement?
  • How can hashtags be protected? Should you register your hashtags as a trademark?

Faculty

Antoine, Heather
Heather A. Antoine

Founder
Antoine Law Group

Ms. Antoine’s practice is focused on the intersection between internet law and intellectual property. She has...  |  Read More

Misthal, Marc
Marc P. Misthal

Principal
Gottlieb Rackman & Reisman

Mr. Misthal counsels a wide range of clients from around the world, including businesses in the fashion, apparel,...  |  Read More

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