Wondering what Robinhood's ticker symbol might be? The online brokerage hasn't said, but there's a compelling clue in a four-letter trademark registration the company made in April.
On April 16, Robinhood Markets Inc. filed for a trademark on "HOOD" for various purposes including "downloadable financial software" and "brokerage and trading services."
The filing listed R. Gwen Peterson, a partner at Kilpatrick Townsend specializing in intellectual property, as the attorney of record. Peterson did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.
Companies generally can't trademark ticker symbols. Stock exchanges, not the companies themselves, issue and regulate the stock shorthand. But cases have arisen where ticker symbols are found to infringe others' trademarks. So one possible reason Robinhood might seek a trademark is as a defensive move, to block someone who might claim that its ticker is infringing.
It's also possible that Robinhood might want a shorter name for its trading apps.
Owen Thomas is a senior editor at Protocol overseeing enterprise and financial technology coverage. He was previously business editor at the San Francisco Chronicle and before that editor-in-chief at ReadWrite, a technology news site. You’re probably going to remind him that he was managing editor at Valleywag, Gawker Media’s Silicon Valley gossip rag. He lives in San Francisco with his husband and Ramona the Love Terrier, whom you should follow on Instagram.