How using hashtags can get you in legal trouble

The # is everywhere on Twitter and other online platforms, but there are hazards if you use it in conjunction with a competitor’s brand name. Check out these guidelines.

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Marketers and brand managers jumped on the hashtag train early (with some hilarious missteps), using hashtags to run giveaways, facilitate Twitter chats or get cheeky with brand audiences.

If you’re sharing content on behalf of a brand and you hashtag it with a competitor’s trademark, you might be breaking the law.

A trademark or service mark helps your audience identify goods or services from a specific source. The law protects businesses from unfair competition by making it illegal for someone else in your industry to use your protected mark on their competing goods.

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