UK-Based Company Secures ‘Bitcoin’ Trademark; Serves Etsy Seller with Cease and Desist
A UK-based company has succeeded in obtaining a registered trademark for the word “Bitcoin” for three different asset classes. The trademark holder has allegedly served an Etsy seller with a cease and desist order for using the BTC logo on his themed T-shirts.
Bitcoin™– It’s Official
A.B.C. IPHoldings South West, LLC, a UK-based company and subsidiary of Monopolip LTD, has managed to secure a successful trademark registration for the term “Bitcoin” in three different asset classes as it follows:
- Class 25 – Clothing, footwear, and headgear.
- Class 32 – Fruit beverages, fruit juices, syrups, beers, mineral and aerated waters and other non-alcoholic beverages.
- Class 33 – Alcoholic beverages (excluding beers).
The owner of Monopolip LTD is Kjell Halvor Landsverk, a Norwegian entrepreneur. Despite the fact that there’s not a lot of information surrounding the company or its owner, registering the “Bitcoin” trademark does seem to fall in line with its nature of business dealings.
Public information on UK’s Company House official website shows that one of the two main fields of expertise of Monopolip LTD is “Leasing of intellectual property and similar products, except copyright works.” What is more, the company does seem to have applied for another potentially interesting trademark for the term “Westworld,” which is currently a popular HBO series.
Swinging the Gavel of Litigation
Despite the fact that the “Bitcoin” trademark has been approved and entered in the official registrar on April 13th, 2018, it seems that the IP holder doesn’t plan to lose any time. A Reddit thread popped on May 25th, a little over a month after the trademark had been registered, posted by a person who says that he has been served with a cease and desist order to refrain from furthering his conduct.
The user says that he has been selling T-shirts on Etsy. Some of his items seem to be related to cryptocurrency and Bitcoin, carrying the BTC logo on them.
What is more, the user has attached a redacted version of the letter, outlining the demands of the trademark holder, which includes surrendering all trademark-infringing stock and profits made to the trademark holder.
There’s no further clarity on the matter and it remains questionable how a seemingly unknown company has managed to land a trademark on one of the hottest, mainstream terms in the last year. Community reaction has definitely been on the side of the Etsy seller, which is fitting due to the decentralized nature of the cryptocurrency.
Do you think “Bitcoin” is a term which should be eligible for trademark registration? Please let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of the Bitcoinist archives and Shutterstock.