Why do the Irish hate Hashtags?


#trademark, hashtag trademark

There’s been quite the debate in Trademark Circles over the last few years about the status of #hashtags in Trademarks, and whether adding a hashtag to a word or phrase might fundamentally alter it and make it distinctive or capable of being registered as a trademark where it might otherwise not be.

That debate will have to wait for another day however, because we have a more basic problem in Ireland

You can’t search the Irish Patents Office website for a term that uses “#”

So for example, there is a recent application for #CelebrateNurses.

Look at it there in all it’s hash-taggy goodness:

#Celebrate Nurses

Unfortunately, if you search for #celebratenurses on the Irish Patents Office website, you get this:

Irish Patents Office Error


So whether it’s possible to register them or not, it’s certainly not possible to search for them, so you might never know! #HowVeryIrish

About the author 

Brian Conroy

I am a Trademark, Corporate and Commercial Litigation Solicitor with a background in the media industry. I specialise in Data Protection, Media, and Intellectual Property Law, both contentious and non-contentious. I trained with McCann FitzGerald in Dublin, and spent 13 years working within the Denis O'Brien owned Communicorp Group of radio stations. For further information or to arrange a consultation or call back phone Leman Solicitors on 01 6393000

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