Trademarks' problems and regulation in crypto world

2 min reading

In the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry, more and more disputes over intellectual property have been emerging recently. This is an example of one

Jess Collen from Forbes has recently discussed this issue using the example of Blockchain Capital from San Francisco. This company started its activity in 2013. Initially, it was called Crypto Currency Partners, but later the name was modified. The Blockchain Capital trademark has been registered in the United States. It's been protected by the US Patent and Trademark Office. On August 21, 2019, the company brought a lawsuit against a company with a very similar name registered in the United Kingdom - Blockchain Capital Limited founded in 2017. The issue here is the trademark. It turns out that the matter is quite complicated. As we all know, the right to a trademark is territorial. Blockchain Capital Limited promotes itself in the US, although it is not clear if it had sold or offered its services there. The British company knew about the existence of an American rival with a very similar name. So why did they decide on such a move? When the dispute arose, they proposed changing their trademark, if Blockchain Capital pays them $200,000. The plaintiffs did not provide a copy of the letter received to the court, so it is not certain how this offer was made (and if it was even made).

Who is entitled to the trademark?

According to court documents, the Trademark Office has accepted the claims of the American Blockchain Capital. This company has a trademark long enough that it has become inherent in it and should have exclusive rights to use it. However, the overall decision in this matter lies with the court, which may or may not consult the Trademark Office in this matter. Perhaps the British company decided that Blockchain Capital is not a trademark. While someone can patent the word Capital, it is not easy with the Blockchain wording alone. Can you assert its rights? Of course, the use of identical words in the name is not completely prohibited, but some conditions must be met. Not so long ago, we raised a rather similar issue. On August 15th, Oracle Corporation filed a lawsuit against CryptoOracle LCC. The software giant intends to implement its own Oracle Blockchain platform, perhaps this is the main reason for legal action. While companies with the same name can operate side by side, if they are not competing with each other, when they are in the same industry, there are complications. Oracle Corporation sees nothing wrong with OracleCrypto LCC itself, but the use of such a similar trademark can mislead consumers. If the Oracle Blockchain platform were to be launched, many people would confuse this venture or look for links with OracleCrypto - and they are two completely different companies.

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