Can you trademark hashtags? Why or why Not?

Yes, a hashtag followed by a word or phrase can be trademarked in the United States as long as the hashtag meets the trademark requirement that it identifies the source of a particular good or service.

The Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (the manual used by trademark attorneys examining applications at the USPTO) provides that a hashtag is registrable the same as any other word or phrase if it “functions as an identifier of the source of the applicant’s goods or services.” TMEP § 1202.18.

It’s important to note that a hashtag does not serve an identifying function on its own and is subject to the same tests as any other mark. For instance, it cannot simply be descriptive.

Further, trademarking a hashtag will not prevent other individuals from using the hashtag on social media; it will only prevent other competing brands from using it to identify similar goods or services.

If you have questions about trademarking a specific hashtag, LawTrades can connect you with one of our vetted trademark attorneys for a free 20 minute consultation to discuss how they can assist you with evaluating and protecting your mark. Any additional work is then completed at an affordable, flat rate