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Online now – IP Clinic on hashtag rights



Emma Barraclough


What kind of trade mark protection is available to users of Twitter hashtags? That’s the question posed in this month’s IP Clinic

In each issue of Managing IP magazine we ask three professionals to respond to an IP dilemma faced by an in-house or private practitioner. This month we asked Michelle Ward of the UK’s Wynne-Jones IP, Lisa Martens of Fish & Richardson in California, and Gabriela Kennedy of Mayer Brown JSM in Hong Kong to provide a European, US and Asian perspective to the question: "Should we try to trade mark our hashtag?"

They explain how brand owners need to apply first principles when assessing the likelihood of obtaining trade mark protection for their hashtags and explain why the commercial objectives of using hashtags may clash with efforts to secure legal protection for them. You can read their answers in the November issue of the magazine (you need to be a subscriber or take out a free trial). Other recent IP Clinics have considered the use of music in advertising campaigns, corporate rebranding and dealing with lookalike products sold by supermarket discounters.

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