UK Company Acquires ‘Bitcoin’ Trademark, Uses It to Threaten Etsy Vendor

Francisco Memoria
  • A UK-based firm has recently managed to acquire the trademar for the term "Bitcoin," and has decided to use to threaten a small business owner.
  • The firm claims the business owner may no longer sell BTC-themed merchandise, and that it must hand it over.

A company in the United Kingdom has recently managed to acquire the trademark for the term “Bitcoin,” and reportedly used it to threaten a small business owner who’s been selling BTC-themed merchandise on the popular marketplace.

The business owner shared its plight on the r/Bitcoin subreddit, in which he revealled that the company, A.B.C IPHoldings South West LLC, sent them a letter explaining that they owned the UK trademark for “Bitcoin.”

The business owner’s Reddit post reads:

“I didn’t believe it at first since I knew that bitcoin and the bitcoin logo are public domain, and even a similar trademark application in the US failed. Well turns out they did manage to get a trademark filed, it can be viewed here. So basically anyone in the UK that puts the word bitcoin on any type of clothing or even a drink, can be sued.”

Reddit user "AlarmingAdhesiveness"

The letter the Etsy vendor received stated they must remove all Bitcoin-themed merchandise from their store, cancel new orders, recall all related products, and hand it over to the trademark’s owner, A.B.C IPHoldings South West LLC. Failure to do so, it adds, will lead to a trademark infringement lawsuit.

According to available data, A.B.C IPHoldings South West LLC is a subsidiary of Monolip LTD. The company submitted an application to acquire the “Bitcoin” trademark in December 27, 2017, at a time in which the flagship cryptocurrency was close to its all-time high of nearly $20,000, according to CryptoCompare data.

The company, who’s seemingly patent trolling the Etsy vendor, also attempted to trademark the term “Westworld,” presumably because of its association with an HBO show with the same name.

These kinds of moves aren’t new in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, as a Moscow-based company has, in 2016, attempted to trademark the term “Bitcoin” as well, but failed. A similar attempt was also rejected in the US.

Digging a little deeper, a simple internet search shows us that a company called Inshallah Limited has applied to trademark the word “Litecoin” in the UK. The company also applied to trademark the term “Worldcoin,” which is the name of a small-cap cryptocurrency.

According to another Reddit user, however, these types of trademarks are unenforceable, as the terms are “far too generic to be trade marked like that.”

'We Are All Satoshi' Says Early Bitcoin Miner Calling out Craig Wright

Francisco Memoria

An unknown bitcoin miner has signed a message on the Bitcoin blockchain with over 140 different wallets, calling self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto a “liar and a fraud” and singing off with “we are all Satoshi.”

The message was then spread on a debian with a list of 145 different BTC addresses and their corresponding signatures. Verifying several addresses shows the signatures match, which does mean the miner owns all of the listed addresses and has the private keys to sign a message with them. The message itself reads:

Craig Steven Wright is a liar and a fraud. He doesn't have the keys used to sign this message. The Lightning Network is a significant achievement. However, we need to continue work on improving on-chain capacity. Unfortunately, the solution is not to just change a constant in the code or to allow powerful participants to force out others. We are all Satoshi

The addresses can notably be found in a list of thousands Craig Wright claimed to own in the case against the estate of the late Dave Kleiman. Kleiman’s lawyers have, however, recently said Wright has access to his BTC fortune but won’t access it because he knows its contents “will include partnership records.”

Wright has failed to prove the ownership of these addresses on several occasions, as he has not signed a message with the private keys to these addresses yet. Last year, a post on Memo.Cash signed a message for another address owned by Wright, saying it did not belong to him and he is a “liar and a fraud.”

This recent messages echoes one sent from Satoshi Nakamoto’s email address back in 2015, claiming he is not Craig Wright and “we are all Satoshi.” On social media users have been speculating the message was sent by Satoshi Nakamoto himself over the similarities.

Did Satoshi Send the Community a Message?

Users have been relying on the analysis of the “Patoshi” pattern to identify whether an address is associated with Satoshi Nakamoto himself. The analysis gained fame earlier this month after a miner moved coins mined in 2009, sparking discussions Satoshi was active once again. Blockchain analysis does indicate it was unlikely Satoshi moved his coins then, and it’s unlikely he signed this recent message.

It’s worth noting, however, the early miner that signed these messages has advanced knowledge and was very careful. Every address independently checked by CryptoGlobe has received a Coinbase reward of 50 BTC and hasn’t moved the funds since they were mined. All of the transactions date back to 2009 and 2010.

It’s unlikely the miner never used bitcoin – or the bitcoin cash airdropped in 2017 to these addresses – after holding onto it for over a decade. Instead, it’s likely the miner chose addresses from which the funds haven’t been moved to avoid being identified by sleuths.

Featured image via Pixabay.