Can a Hashtag Be Registered As A Trademark?

Talking to a colleague today, we both came upon an interesting legal question: is a social media hashtag a trademark that one can register? For those who are not familiar with hashtags, it is a word or phrase preceded by a “#” that accompanies text. Hashtags are used to categorize the content of a social media posting on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms, group content together and make social media postings searchable. Businesses use hashtags to promote product and engage audiences throughout social media. Social media platforms have even developed a stream of revenue by allowing businesses and individual to “promote” hashtags and receive preferential listing on their websites. The emergence of social media hashtags has had a huge impact in social media marketing. It is a great way to communicate social media messages, build brand loyalty and associate identifying characteristics with a brand and its audience. According to the

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