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Can a hashtag be registered as a trademark in India?

Submitted by LegalWizin on Tue, 10/27/2020 - 02:43

Yes, Hashtags can be trademarked along with the Brand Name. Trademark is a unique ‘Symbol’ or ‘Word’ or combination of both, which represents a Business, its Brand or its Product/Services.

Guidance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) states: “A mark comprising of or including the hash symbol (#) or the term 'hashtag' is registerable as a trademark of service only if it functions as an identifier of the source of the applicant's goods or services.”

Hashtags are nowadays used for marketing or to create a distinct identity as well, which is subject to a test. The condition is that the tag should be able to identify the product/ goods/ services.

However, the trademark of the hashtag cannot prevent individuals from using the hashtags on social media. It surely does prevent the competitors from using it to identify similar goods or services. Also, limited shelf life and therefore, you would also like to take a not of this ruling by court.

In case of Eksouzian v Albanese, according to the court’s ruling, a hashtag is a “descriptive device” and not a “source identifier”.

You might like to consult an attorney to discuss about particular hashtag and its registrability.

If you are looking for Trademark Registration in India, feel free to connect with experts for free consultancy.