This week finesse queen, super mom, Kris Jenner brought my attention to a topic in media and communications I would have never really given thought to: trademarking hashtags. Since their existence, hashtags have been a useful tool on social media used to electronically collect all sources of one related topic by using a symbol and a specific word/phrase. Brands are now using the trend to their marketing advantage and trademarking hashtags, this is actually allowed.
When a company trademarks a phrase they do not intend to silence their customers who may want to use it, they actually condone the positive use of their hashtags. As it turns out, the main legal reason why a company would trademark a hashtag is to “prevent companies and service providers within the same industry” for competition.
Kris Jenner now faces a legal battle with a jewelry brand named Jenny Present. Jenny Present offers their customers a line of customized jewels under their “Original Proud Mama” collection and so trademarked the phrase #ProudMama. If you follow Jenner on Instagram you have noticed that most of her posts are commemorating her family’s accomplishments where she uses #ProudMama regularly. Earlier this year Kris launched a line of affordable jewelry. With this in line the Jenny Present brand called over the attention of authorities and asked that Jenner refrain from using the phrase. Kris is not going to out up and easy fight and so goes the battle.
– Yanilis Checo