Twitter gave rise to “hashtags.” And now brands are using hashtags as part of trademarks and brand names and logos.
Below are some of the hashtag trademark applications filed with the USPTO in 2012 [click wording or logo for USPTO records]:
- – for variety of computer goods and services
- #sluggertime – for ‘providing a website on the Internet for the purpose of social networking, including social networking regarding the sports of baseball and softball’ and ‘clothing, namely, shirts, t-shirts, sweatshirts and hooded sweatshirts; headwear’
- #volstrong – for Camouflage shirts; Hats; Shirts; Sweat shirts
- #DETROITPRIDE – for ‘Fitted plastic films known as skins for covering and protecting electronic apparatus, namely, mobile phones, PDAs, tablets and portable music players; Protective covers and cases for cell phones, laptops and portable media players; Protective covers and cases for tablet computers’ and ‘Belts; Headwear; Jackets; Pants; Shirts; Shorts; Socks; Sweat pants; Sweat shirts’
- #GYMORDIE IT’S A LIFESTYLE NOT JUST A SLOGAN – for ‘Personal fitness training services and consultancy’
- #hashtag – for a variety of advertising and media services
- – for ‘Non-alcoholic, non-carbonated fruit flavored beverages’
- for Rubber or silicon wristbands in the nature of a bracelet
- #winelover – for t-shirts
Note: is mere use of a hashtag in front of a brand name on Twitter, such as #nike, a trademark use? I would argue that it is using “Nike” as a trademark, but I don’t think it consitutes use of “#nike” as a trademark unless the hashtag is also used in other ways.