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Hashtags cannot be protected as trademarks

It is well known that trademark applications are filed for all sorts of words and designations. Lately, a new symbol seeking protections has been appearing among trademark applications. This symbol is the hashtag – a metadata tag widely used on social network, which allows grouping messages according to the information appearing after the label. A precedent has been created by the California District Court, stating that hashtag applications will be evaluated according to whether they meet all the criteria for registered trademarks. The Court found this symbol to be too descriptive and lacking distinctive characteristic.

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