the Trademark Resource for Start-Ups, Business Owners, Marketing Professionals, In-House Counsel, and Attorneys

January 2016

Trademark Rights vis-a-vis Domain Name Rights

It happened again so I'm just going to write a blog post about it. Earlier this week, the phone rings in the middle of the day. It's a client who wants to register a trademark so that he can use the trademark to obtain the corresponding domain name that is already registered.  "Can I do that?" he asks. This has got to be one of the most common questions that I get. The answer is simple. "No, you can't do that." Here's why. continue reading→

Hashtage Feature Image

Happy New Year, Trademark Well readers! Take a big whiff of 2016. Doesn’t it smell a whole lot like trademarks? And on to the first content of 2016 …

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Hashtags are freaking everywhere. They’re not just on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook anymore. They’ve been let out of their cage—hashtags are not just being used to categorize subjects or topics on social networks. Everyone has gotten together and decided that it’s clever or funny to just put a hashtag in front of whatever they’re saying. You know what I’m talking about. It’s Thanksgiving, your phone dings, you look at your text messages, and your brother has texted you #stuffingsuxthisyear. When something becomes as ubiquitous as hashtags, people are going to try to trademark it.

But can a hashtag be a trademark? Can you register a hashtag as a trademark? Is it possible for a hashtag to infringe someone else’s trademark? continue reading→