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Posts Tagged: "Hashtag"

Spilling the ‘Detox Tea’: Are We About to See More FTC Action on Social Media Influencer Advertising?

In a recent letter, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) urged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to take action against makers of “detox teas” for engaging in “predatory” and misleading marketing tactics on social media platforms, targeting primarily young adults (and young women in particular). Taking aim at the Instagram idol Kim Kardashian, Senator Blumenthal pointed out that influencers earn up to “six figure sums” for a single social media post promoting detox tea products without any expectation that the endorsers personally use the products and expose themselves to the alleged health risks associated with the teas.    

Conversational Commerce: How Technology Raises the Bar for Customer Interaction

Now with smartphones always-on and within reach 24/7, the way businesses need to communicate information to customers is through their mobile devices. And statistics show that the preferred method for reaching customers by their phones is via text message. For example, 70 percent of customers say texts are a good way to get their attention, and 90 percent of customers will open a text message within three minutes of receiving it, according to mobilesquared, an industry analysis firm.

#UNDECIDED: Trademark Protection for Hashtags

Can a hashtag be a protectable trademark? And when does use of another’s trademark in hashtags constitute infringement? Disagreement has arisen among the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”), the courts, and commentators about whether hashtags can be protected at all. A trademark, of course, is a source-identifier – a “word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof” used “to identify and distinguish … goods, including a unique product, from those manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the source of the goods.” 15 U.S.C. § 1127(a).

Social Media and the Rise of Opportunistic #Trademark Filings

Last June, Walter Palmer, an American dentist and recreational big game hunter, shot and killed Cecil, a southwest African lion who had been the subject of a study by Oxford University and a major attraction for Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. At first, Cecil’s killing drew international outrage and media attention, the hashtag #CecilTheLion spreading like wildfire on social media. Then it drew trademark applications. At least four different applicants currently have live trademark applications pending in the United States for CECIL THE LION, covering everything from the noble, including charitable fundraising services and information and news commentary relating to wildlife conservation, to the commercial, including dolls, trading cards, and charms.