The word ‘hackathon’ has been trademarked in Germany

The word ‘hackathon’ has been trademarked in Germany

Every self-respecting nerd loves a good hackathon, right? Hack days, hack fests or any other terminological variation are great ways to get product prototypes up to speed, and some cool stuff can often emerge from them. Indeed, Facebook has held hacks, Google often hosts them, and we too recently held our very own Hack Battle.

But the word ‘hackathon’ is one portmanteau that is seemingly under threat in Germany.

As noted on Hacker News earlier today, according to the Deutsche Patent- und Markenamt (DPMA) – the German patent and trademark office – ‘hackathon’ has been registered without opposition.


The application was first made in July last year by what seems to be an events company called Nachtausgabe, and was provisionally passed in November. Following publication of the registration, a required part of the trademarking process, it seems nobody noticed or cared. It was ratified on March 7, and it was finally registered without opposition last month, with an expiry date in the year 2022.

A quick perusal of the Googlebox reveals a slew of hackathons being held in Germany, so it’s not clear yet whether these will eventually be targeted and asked to stop using the word – that, after all, is the purpose of trademarking a word.

Feature Image Credit – Thinkstock

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