In a smart move in today’s age and time, a UK company has acquired the trademark for ‘Bitcoin.’ All this time the ‘Bitcoin’ trademark was thought to be a public domain. However, it belongs to the British company.
The UK company that has acquired this significant trademark is now filing a lawsuit against a small business selling bitcoin themed shirts.
The summary of the content of the letter to the small business from the owner of the trademark was shared on popular cryptocurrency sharing social media, Reddit under the Bitcoin subreddit.
The letter elaborated on bitcoin themed merchandise to be removed, recalled and delivered to the trademark owner. It further threatened to file a trademark infringement lawsuit if these instructions were not followed.
The Reddit post was by AlarmingAdhesiveness, who is seen to be a Reddit user for only a day. The post stated-
“I’ll keep this sort. I run a very small t-shirt business and a few of my shirts contain the word bitcoin. Today I received a cease and desist letter claiming I’m breaking their trademark for the use of the word “BITCOIN”, 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. Well turns out they did manage to get a trademark filed, it can be viewed here. So basically anyone in the UK that puts the word bitcoin on any type of clothing or even a drink, can be sued.
I’m posting this in the hopes someone knows the trademark laws better than me. I believe a trademark invalidation can be filed to get this removed since bitcoin is somewhat a generic term and therefore should be free for everyone to use. If anyone has the know how to file an invalidation please do so.
A comment from a user called retro83 stated that the company that has obtained the trademark is called A.B.C IPHoldings South West LLC. It received it last month after applying on December 27, 2017.
How the company was able to gain access to the trademark is a mystery as previous tries in several countries have failed. In 2016 A Russian company was unable to obtain a Russian trademark. Even an American company was rejected in gaining the Bitcoin trademark through the US Patent and Trademark Office.
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