# Hashtags are common features on social media platforms used to portray messages. This means you can search and view specific content by clicking on the hashtag and everything that includes that tag will be displayed.
Section 17 of the Trade Marks Act 1995 defines a trade mark as follows:
“A trademark is a sign used, or intended to be used, to distinguish goods or services dealt with or provided in the course of trade by a person from goods or services so dealt with or provided by any other person”.
Therefore, when the words of your trade mark are behind the # symbol and it’s becoming well known in the marketplace that the hashtag belongs to your brand, a hashtag trade mark should be registered.
The same Law will apply as a standard trade mark application. If the # symbol is followed by an overly descriptive term, it may not be able to be registered as a trade mark, just in the same way as if the # were not there, but run it past us to see.
The “#” itself is likely to be considered by IP Australia in most circumstances to be “non-trade mark material” in the same way “www.com.au” domain extensions are not. However, sometimes, a brand might accumulate enough value in the “#” itself that it becomes trade mark material as well. Example might have been Slack, the communication tool, before it re-branded.
IP Australia has some more information here.
Feel free to enquire with us about getting your hashtag trade marked!
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