A RELATION BETWEEN SOCIAL MEDIA AND A HASHTAG
Have you seen a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#) used on social media? This #tag is the powerful weapon used as trendy in especially in Facebook and Twitter social medias.
CAN YOU TRADEMARK A HASHTAG UNDER INDIAN TRADEMARK ACT 1999?
“Trademark refers to the mark which is being capable to be represented graphically and distinguishing the goods or services of one person from those of others either includes the shape of goods or their packaging and combination of colors”
As per the above definition, yes of course you can Trademark a hashtag. The Trademark is a source identifier and a Hashtag fulfill to qualify for registration as per the Act.
WHAT ARE THE REASONS FOR REFUSAL?
“A Trademark which is devoid of any distinctive character that is to say, not capable of distinguishing goods or services of One person from those of another, shall not be registered.”
By analyzing this section, the Hashtag which can fully satisfy both the conditions of the Act to be qualified. According to the Act the distinctive nature categorize into two subsections called as “inherent” and “acquired”.
However, these digital tools become a very normal feature of the landscape. The sharing culture in which they usually depend can present some intellectual property related challenges. The Trademark registration of Hashtags are still popping up in social media’s due to the availability of cheap data. But this will surely lead to the emergence of Hashtags as Trademarks in the upcoming future as a hot topic in the IP market.