Bitcoin trade mark acquired – merchandise sellers at risk
A.B.C. IPHoldings South West has officially acquired the trade mark for the popular cryptocurrency “Bitcoin”. As a result, they have already started to take action on other companies using the trade mark. One of these includes Etsy (an online retailer which allows users to sell their own products) who were sent a cease and desist order by A.B.C. because they were selling Bitcoin-themed T-shirts. They ordered that Etsy recall all Bitcoin related products that have already been sold and deliver such merchandise to the trade mark owner. If they failed to do this it would result in a trade mark infringement lawsuit. Even attempting this would probably prove to be quite difficult for the company. Contacting every customer who has bought a bitcoin related item will be challenging enough let alone retrieving the item they bought. This action also raises questions such internet shopping sites including Amazon also sell Bitcoin merchandise, will any legal action be taken against them?
A.B.C. IPHoldings South West’s business owner even expressed surprise that the trade mark registration was approved as other companies in the US and Russia attempted but were unsuccessful in obtaining “bitcoin” as a trade mark.
In recent years Bitcoin has grown in popularity with 1 bitcoin equaling £5,655.23 (approx.) In 2010 if you were to buy £100 worth of bitcoin it would be valued at £4.3 million. Such a profit has encouraged people to invest in bitcoin which unfortunately has led to some people losing money by investing in bitcoin or by being scammed by illegitimate bitcoin sites.
Written by Tristan Trezise who is a work experience student from Crofton School