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Author Topic: [2018-05-26] UK Company Acquires ‘Bitcoin’ Trademark, Allegedly Threatens Etsy S  (Read 49 times)
ivanpoldark
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May 26, 2018, 05:13:35 AM
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A UK company has acquired the trademark for “Bitcoin” and has allegedly threatened to bring a lawsuit against a small business that sells bitcoin-themed shirts.

The business owner shared their plight on the Bitcoin subreddit, explaining that today, May 25, they received a letter from a company claiming to own the UK trademark for “Bitcoin.”

The letter, a redacted version of which the user posted online, further said that the t-shirt business must remove all bitcoin-themed merchandise from its Etsy store, recall all bitcoin-related products that have already been sold, and deliver this merchandise to the trademark owner. Failure to do so, the letter claimed, would result in a trademark infringement lawsuit.

“I didn’t believe it at first since I knew that bitcoin and the bitcoin logo are public domain, and even a similar trademark application in the US failed,” the user wrote.

However, as the business owner soon found out, a company called A.B.C. IPHoldings South West LLC successfully obtained a trademark for “Bitcoin” last month after initially submitting the application on Dec. 27, 2017.

A.B.C. IPHoldings South West LLC is listed as a subsidiary of Monolip LTD, whose mailing address appears to be a rented mailbox at a London branch of Mail Boxes Etc.

The firm has only applied for one other trademark, “Westworld,” presumably due to its association with the HBO show of the same name. The application for this trademark has been published, but it has not yet been examined by the IP office.

Contact information for the company was not immediately available, so CCN was unable to reach them for comment. The user who claimed to have received the letter did not immediately reply to an inquiry about how they intended to respond.

It’s unclear whether the threat-sender (presumably A.B.C. IPHoldings South West or Monolip LTD) will carry out its threat, and whether the threat would hold up in court remains to be seen as well.

In any case, it’s surprising that a company was able to successfully trademark the term, particularly since the flagship cryptocurrency has more or less achieved mainstream recognition over the past several years.

As CCN reported, a Moscow-based company unsuccessfully attempted to obtain a Russian trademark for “Bitcoin” in 2016. Previously, the US Patent and Trademark Office rejected a California company’s attempt to obtain a “Bitcoin” trademark, though US firms can register longer trademarks that include the word.

https://www.ccn.com/uk-company-acquires-bitcoin-trademark-threatens-etsy-store-over-btc-themed-items/
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May 26, 2018, 12:39:16 PM
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Hmm. Good luck with that one.

The UK is not the US. In the US patent trolling can be a full time career, Britain has a legal system that does things other than line the richest pockets.

If it ever got to court all the person being prosecuted needs to do is bring along a mention of Bitcoin pre trademarking and the penis who brought the case will be told to bugger off.

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May 26, 2018, 03:00:05 PM
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Hmm. Good luck with that one.

The UK is not the US. In the US patent trolling can be a full time career, Britain has a legal system that does things other than line the richest pockets.

If it ever got to court all the person being prosecuted needs to do is bring along a mention of Bitcoin pre trademarking and the penis who brought the case will be told to bugger off.

So the trademark will not hold in UK?
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May 26, 2018, 03:16:12 PM
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So the trademark will not hold in UK?

I'm no legal expert, but basically they would be laughed out of court. Bitcoin has been around for years before this prick turned up. He can go to court if he wants. It'll be immediately thrown out unless he can prove he was using it before it became public domain, which he can't.

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May 26, 2018, 05:41:59 PM
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The UK is not the US. In the US patent trolling can be a full time career, Britain has a legal system that does things other than line the richest pockets.

Your tribalism is blinding you.

If the trademark holder's case is "I own the trademark to `Bitcoin` in it's entirety" then you might have a point, but it's unlikely that such a vague definition would be accepted as a trademark to begin with. Common knowledge of Bitcoin's existence was in place in 2016 when the trademark was granted, as well as in any court cases in 2018 or thereafter. This is without even broaching the issue of the integrity of the British legal system (which has been variously very corrupt in instances where the interests of the *ahem* richest pockets was in question)

Vires in numeris
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