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Coca-Cola moves to trademark #cokecanpics and #smilewithacoke hashtags

Coca-Cola has filed an application to trademark two Twitter hashtags, #cokecanpics and #smilewithacoke, a novel move for the soft drink giant.

It highlights the growing clout of social media in the marketing sphere as Coca-Cola seeks to protect its brand and image on the micro blogging service.

Designed to allow users to zero in on specific topics of conversation the simple codes have become ubiquitous on Twitter as a means of providing some order to the overwhelming volumes of chatter.

The trademarking of hashtags is something of a grey area legally with doubts over ownership persisting despite efforts by marketers to pin down the nascent advertising technique.

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