Hashtags Are Not Trademarks—Eksouzian v. Albanese (Guest Blog Post)

28 08 2015

By Guest Blogger Alexandra Roberts

[Eric’s note: Prof. Roberts is a trademark expert at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. She’s writing a paper on hashtags as trademarks, a new topic of growing importance. When I saw this ruling, I immediately thought of her.]

The parties in this case were originally partners who sold portable vaporizer pens, but they parted ways under a cloud of suspicion. A July 2014 settlement agreement restricts both parties’ use of the term “cloud” in connection with the sale of their products: Defendants may only use “cloud” as part of a unitary mark; Plaintiffs may not use a unitary mark that places “cloud” next to any of several proscribed terms. Consistent with the TMEP, “unitary trademark” is defined as a trademark in which “the elements are so closely aligned and situated that the average consumer would view the group of words or symbols as a single trademark.”

Case citation: Eksouzian v. Albanes, 2015 WL 4720478 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 7, 2015)


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