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Can you copyright hashtags?

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Interesting post on dot.life on the BBC News site. Someone in the UK is claiming intellectual property rights to the hashtag ‘#uksnow’. Now realizing that the patent office allows patenting life (anyone see ‘Food Inc’?) why wouldn’t they allow patenting this mark? Can you imagine every time you wanted to use a hashtag you had to worry whether someone had patented it first? What about if you built on a tag, such as #uksnowing – is it a new tag or an extension of an existing tag?

Would the large corporations start buying up patents and enforcing them, forcing the small guys into line through the treat of lawsuits?

Pretty soon you wouldn’t be able to write anything on twitter in case it violated a patent, then what? People move to other services, Twitter dies, the corporations have made their profit and the fat cats have got paid (anyone see Crooked E?).

Makes me glad to work as an SEO where we only have to worry about world domination by Google (Google Phone anyone?)

Written by Dylan

December 18th, 2009 at 1:04 pm

Posted in Copywriting

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