Can you actually “own” a hashtag? The answer is no, you can’t legally own a hashtag. They’re not intellectual property you can own.
Funny story: I’ve been using a location hashtag so I can be part of a local conversation. I was recently told by someone that I have to stop using the hashtag because “they created it and they own it.”
I laughed and laughed, then I continued to use the hashtag in almost everything I post on Instagram.
You can’t own a hashtag
You can’t legally own a hashtag. Hashtags are not tangible. They’re not even intellectual property.
Hashtags are a means of grouping posts together and making it easier to find things in a search.
Can I trademark a hashtag?
You can register a trademark for a hashtag, but you have to prove to the United States Patent and Trademark Office that it’s a brand hashtag you use to promote your business, your products, and your services.
Trademarking a hashtags follows the same standard of trademark law with the USPTO for branded items.
Trademarking a hashtag will not prevent people from using it, and it won’t give you legal recourse if someone uses it in a way that you disagree with.
Hashtags are “free” to use
A hashtag is something anyone in the world can use. Using hashtags puts your posts in with a specific conversation.
Hashtags are keywords, and nothing more.