Leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance is battling a Brazilian diplomat, Paulo Renato Dallagnol, after he registered the website Binance.com.br and its brand at the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI).
Binance sued INPI and Dallagnol, Brazil’s vice-consul in Cyprus, after he decided to register a Brazilian version of Binance’s website on June 30, 2018. Binance, it’s worth noting, has been operating in Brazil since June 14, 2017 according to the case.
The leading cryptocurrency exchange argued the Binance brand is protected as it was registered in China, a signatory of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. According to local news outlet Portal do Bitcoin, Binance also argued that according to Industrial Property Law it wouldn’t have been possible for the registration to be recognized. It also pointed out Dallagnol has been a “registered use of the author’s website since December 2017, date that precedes the deposit of the Binance brand.”
The battle saw Binance get an early victory, as judge Eduardo André Brandão de Brito Fernandes, of the 25th Federal Court of Rio de Janeiro, suspended the effects of the trademark’s registration. Dallagnol was ordered to not use the Binance brand in any way, under threat of being fined. The decision, however, was preliminary as the diplomat and INPI may still fight back.
Portal do Bitcoin points out that Dallagnol registered the name “Binance” for the Binance.com.br domain with INPI under “class 36, identifying various financial services (stock and securities brokerage; stock brokerage; financial management; advisory, consultancy and investment management of third parties, etc.)”
The diplomat’s registration was granted last year in Brazil, and was filed under the same class Binance itself uses. Even before the 25th Federal Court of Rio de Janeiro decided to bar Dallagnol from using the Binance brand, the INPI reserved a right to nullify the registration.
"The registration was granted on 7/7/2019 and is subject to an administrative nullity process (PAN), not yet decided by the INPI.”
Dallagnol, according to the news outlet, became vice-consul in Nicosia, Cyprus back in August 2018. He has a master´s degree in law from the Carlos III University in Madrid, Spain. His thesis was on the right to intellectual property.
The diplomat has in the past addressed cryptocurrencies on the website of a law firm from Rio Grande do Sul. He has also served as a specialist in digital law.
Featured image via Pixabay.