Today I came across this article about trademarking hashtags and a conflict over the use of a specific hashtag.
Hashtagging is such a part of today’s social media experience. Almost every platform supports the use of hashtags, and they are great ways to measure the success of a social media campaign or movement. Every time someone uses a hashtag, it can be added to just about any type of measurement.
The legal profession got into this as companies began to want to reserve the use of some tags for themselves. Yes, you can trademark a hashtag, and yes you can make sure no one else uses it without your permission.
But what happens when a smaller group has been using a tag and then all of a sudden a company trademarks that tag for its own use? The article linked above is about just such a case. And it sounds like there’s quite a bit of acrimony about the legal ramifications.
Hashtags aren’t going anywhere. And as long as there are ideas, companies, issues and movements there will be a need for these short sayings to help track and measure our involvement in them. Keep that in mind as you use that hashtag on your next instagram, facebook or twitter post.