This week it became clear that the word “Bitcoin” is a registered trademark. It was registered in the UK on 22 December 2017 at the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).
This news came as a shock to a businessman who was selling t-shirts on Etsy that used the inscription Bitcoin. This entrepreneur has received official notification that if he did not stop their activities, he will have to stand trial.
Our client noticed that you sell a variety of clothing with the trademark Bitcoin on Etsy.co.uk. [Our client] did not allow the use of the trademark Bitcoin on clothing and in clothing. Thus, such use is a violation of trademark rights in accordance with paragraph 10 (1) of the trademark Act of 1994.
To contact the copyright holders is difficult, because information about the company under the name of IP Holdings is virtually nonexistent, except that it had registered trademark rights to the “Westworld”. According to information Intellectual Property Office (IPO), the company has the rights to use the trademark “Bitcoin” on virtually any clothes. Number of the trademark “UK00003279106 Bitcoin” was officially registered in the IPO on 13 April 2018.
For the entire history of bitcoin, there were other attempts to register the trademark. But this case in the UK – the first such successful case.
In March 2015, the patent and trademark office (PTO) rejected the application of the company Urban Trend to obtain the right to Bitcoin (Reg 86135516). A year later. Russian patent Agency Rospatent rejected the application of the Moscow firm M-Group, when she tried to get the rights to “Bitcoin”.
In 2015, a non-profit organization the Bitcoin Foundation has published an appeal to individuals and businesses requesting to register a copyright on the term “Bitcoin”.
The Bitcoin Foundation believes that the term “Bitcoin”should not be the intellectual property of any individual or legal entity. Rather, it is a General term, like terms used for other currencies such as “dollar”, “Euro”, “yen”, etc.