UK Company That Has Patent To ‘Bitcoin’ Trademark Threatens To Sue May 28, 2018 May 29, 2018 Kate Leaman
Bitcoin NewsMay 28, 2018 by Kate Leaman

UK Company That Has Patent To ‘Bitcoin’ Trademark Threatens To Sue

The name ‘Bitcoin’ is now recognizable all over the world and its logo is seen by millions of people on a daily basis.

However, it appears that bitcoin can no longer be a part of the public domain anymore, at least in the UK.

In a post on the Bitcoin subreddit, an owner of a small Etsy business received a letter on May 25 from a company in the UK who claimed that they were the bitcoin trademark owners in the UK.

The letter instructed them to stop selling any more bitcoin-branded products and wanted them to return all of their bitcoin branded merchandise back to them. A failure to follow these instructions would cause them to be the target of a lawsuit for trademark infringement.

The recipient of the letter was initially doubtful of the letter since they believed that ‘bitcoin’ was part of the public domain. However, it seems that in the UK, bitcoin is not in the public domain anymore. Some research has shown that a company named A.B.C. IPHoldings South West LLC managed to successfully trademark bitcoin in the UK. They applied for the trademark in 2017 and were only recently granted approval.

Bitcoin Trademark Owner Shrouded In Mystery

The circumstances of how the company received the trademark are a mystery. There have already been two previous attempts to trademark bitcoin, both of which have failed. First, there was the attempt by a California company to trademark the word. That failed, but patenting longer phrases that include the word is still possible. Second, a Russian company also tried the same thing but did not pass muster with the Russian patent office.

A.B.C. IPHoldings South West LLC claims to be a subsidiary of Monolip LTD. However, the address provided is that of a rented mailbox in London. This does not look very official when it comes to the legitimacy of the company. How genuine is the threat about legal action, once can only assume. Unfortunately, there was no contact information on the trademark holder so it has been hard for the media to reach out to the company and get an official statement on the issue.

Should the company proceed with legal action, it will be interesting to see how the courts rule. The word ‘bitcoin’ is used throughout the UK by a number of establishments and a blanket ban on a global word would seem very strange.

AuthorKate Leaman

Kate is market industry expert who has spent majority of her life on wall street, she has thought to have a knack at picking the right stocks to invest into. With the rise in cryptocurrencies she has is now able to use her expertise to a new market and give us insights on what we can expect in the present and the future.