According to TheMerkle media report and public documents, the British company ABC IPHoldings South West has successfully obtained the trademark “Bitcoin”. A merchant from Etsy stated that he received an injunction issued by IP Holdings for selling T-shirts with the theme of Bitcoin.
This week, cryptocurrency enthusiasts discovered that the name “Bitcoin” was incorporated into the Registered Trademark Office of the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) since December 22 last year (2017). A merchant who was selling a T-shirt with the name of Bitcoin on the Internet was told to stop the action immediately. Otherwise, he would see the court. At this point, people discovered the amazing news. The lawyer’s letter from the other party wrote:
Our client discovered that you are selling a batch of clothing with Bitcoin trademark on Etsy.co.uk. Our client did not authorize you to use the Bitcoin trademark associated with the apparel. Therefore, according to Article 10(1) of the Trademark Law of 1994, such application is a trademark infringement.
It is difficult to contact the company at present, because the relevant information is seriously inadequate. We only know that this is a London-based company called IP-Holdings, and it also holds the “West World” intellectual property. This trademark registration application filed in December last year stipulates that the following products must not be used without permission, including any clothing, baby clothes, shoes, hairbands, socks, etc., that may be made into a product. The trademark number “UK00003279106 Bitcoin” was formally registered on the IPO’s record on April 13 of this year.
Is Bitcoin registered?
IP Holdings seems to be the first company to successfully apply for Bitcoin trademark rights. Some people have tried this before but they failed. In March 2015, the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) rejected Urban Trend’s Bitcoin trademark rights (Reg 86135516) application. In March 2016, the Russian Patent and Trademark Office (Rospatent) also rejected the request of the Moscow company M-Group to apply for the copyright for the name “Bitcoin”.
Many cryptocurrency enthusiasts are angry about this. Earlier copyright applications also caused bitcoiners to fry. The Bitcoin Foundation, a non-profit organization, issued an announcement in 2015 that individuals and companies are not required to apply for Bitcoin copyright.
At the time, the foundation stated:
The Bitcoin Foundation believes that the term ‘Bitcoin’ should not itself be the intellectual property of any individual or company.
Instead, it should become a generic term for currency terms like ‘dollar’, ‘euro’, ‘yen’. The Foundation is committed to doing its utmost to protect the public use rights of the term ‘Bitcoin’.
Image via Pixabay, trademarks.ipo.gov.uk