Is Your # Branded?

December 23, 20140 Comments

The hashtag (#) is a new branding phenomenon and trademark applications for branded hashtags are increasing.

hashtag

No longer used solely by Twitter users, the hashtag is an integral part of the American social, commercial, and political landscape. Hashtags appear on products, in television broadcasts, and at political events.  TV shows such as The Voice and Fox’s American Idol, consumer products companies such as Birdseye use hashtags to promote their brands and products. Birdseye created a website where consumers can post their meals with the hashtag #BirdsEyeInspirations.

You can use a hashtag as a brand name or slogan for your product or service.  If you register it as a trademark, you must prove you’re actually using your hashtag to promote and sell your products or services. It’s a smart business strategy and, like a tagline, logo or other branding or identity mark, it can be very useful as part of your online marketing efforts.

Before registering your hashtag, do some research to make sure no one else is already using it.  In addition to a trademark search, sites like twubs.com are a good starting point. A trademark search will reveal how strong your trademark (or hashtag) choice is. If a trademark search shows the hashtag mark you’re considering using is in a crowded field, then it’s better to find a new mark.

Trademarking a hashtag will not prevent people from using it on Twitter. But it will prevent companies and service providers within the same industry from using your hashtag to compete with you.

Once social anomalies, hashtags are now used across social networking platforms as well as in commerce and politics – See more at: http://davisudoka.com/blog/view/can-i-trademark-my-awesome-hashtag#sthash.qlJv0zd0.dpuf
Once social anomalies, hashtags are now used across social networking platforms as well as in commerce and politics – See more at: http://davisudoka.com/blog/view/can-i-trademark-my-awesome-hashtag#sthash.qlJv0zd0.dpuf

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About the Author ()

Rand is President / CEO of Licensing Consulting Group, an intellectual property management and licensing company specializing in assisting clients in IP Management, Strategic Consulting, Acquisition of Licensing Rights, and Property Representation. Rand has licensed some of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters, including “Batman” and the “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers”, both of which generated billions of dollars in worldwide merchandise sales. He has lead various international licensing programs as both licensee and licensor, and through consulting projects focused on licensing strategy, brand development, sponsorship sales and property representation.

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