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Weekly Trendspotting - #Trademarks

Posted by LMA International on Apr 8, 2016 1:51:33 PM

When a PR Crisis Hits and What to Do About It

What's Trending? Trademarking Your Hashtag.

Each week, the Legal Marketing Association pulls the most buzzworthy trends in marketing to help inspire its members. Continue reading for the biggest stories focusing on copyrights on social media, including conversations about the value of trademarking your brand's hashtag and how companies are protecting their intellectual property on social media.


1. Companies Increasingly Trademark Hashtags

Companies are increasingly trying to “join the conversation” with consumers on social media services including Facebook and Twitter, but they’d rather their competitors didn’t join the conversation too. Read more on The Wall Street Journal.

2. Trademarks: Keep Your Hashtags Safe

Hashtags have become perfect marketing tools in recent times. They have great social appeal and they make it simple for marketers to start a conversation or create some buzz about a particular product, promotional campaign, and brand or to link different posts and messages to current cultural events. However, the problem arises when the same hashtag is used by a rival company or a competitor. Read more from Sinapse.

3. Trademark Tweeting: Social Media Opportunities & Challenges

While social media has been a boon for companies’ ability to engage with their customers they also pose trademark problems for businesses. Companies are at risk of some imposter taking their identity. Sometimes it’s a flat out theft, other times it is just amatter of limited real estate.  Read more on Thomson Compumark.

4. Social Media - The Challenges of An Effective Trade Mark Protection and Enforcement Strategy

Social media in its many forms should therefore form a key part of a brand protection strategy. However, social media is not without its challenges for brand owners. The increase in different media channels continues to present difficulties in clearing marks for use and steering the business on brand selection. Brand owners need to monitor social media in order to police the use of the brand by third parties and keep one step ahead of potential infringers. Read more on Marks-Clerk.

5. Are Hashtags Capable of Trademark Protection under U.S. Law?

Although the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) rules state that hashtags may be protected as trademarks, a federal district court recently found that hashtags may be merely descriptive devices—not source identifiers. This decision could undercut investments made by brand owners in obtaining trademark protection for their hashtags and leave this new marketing territory vulnerable and untamed. Read more from International Trademark Association.

Check back weekly for more industry trends from around the Web!

Topics: Trendspotting

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