Consider the case of PepsiCo and #GetNaked
By Peter Lemire
I recently read an article regarding the rise in trademark filings for hashtags. According to the article, 1,398 were filed worldwide last year; the figure for the U.S. was around 500 — a drop in the bucket among millions of trademarks filed worldwide every year.
However, the increase in the number of filings over the previous year is significant. The increase in attempts to trademark hashtags may cause one to ask: Is this a hostile takeover of social media in an attempt to chill free speech? And should my business consider trademarking hashtags?
The answers are: No, not really; and it depends.