Trademarks and patents often lead to heated exchanges of words in the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency world. More specifically, anyone trying to trademark existing names or terms is often scrutinized by the community, as they should be. It seems an entity in the United Kingdom is trying to trademark Bitcoin Gold and Bitcoin Cash. It’s an interesting gambit, although it is doubtful such a venture will be successful.
Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold as Trademarks?
It is always interesting to see how people try to capitalize on the success of existing projects or currencies. In the case of Bitcoin, one could argue every cryptocurrency created after it is trying to ride the coattails of the world’s leading cryptocurrency. Things are never black and white, though, especially not in the world of finance. One thing everyone can agree on is how filing for trademarks for existing terms or currencies is just not done whatsoever.
Indeed, there is no reason for anyone to trademark names that already exist in the cryptocurrency world. For some reason, a UK entity registered in Middlesex named The Sun & Sand Foundation is attempting to do exactly that. A Reddit user discovered two trademark filings pertaining to Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold. It is unclear who exactly is behind this, or why it’s being done now. The applications were filed on October 3rd of this year, which is a rather interesting detail. The Sun & Sand Foundation has no ties with either of these currencies as far as we know.
It is remarkable to note this company has just two trademark filings so far: one for BitcoinCashand the other for BitcoinGold. While these are not the correct spellings of either currency as most people know them, this is still quite worrisome. After all, a lot of people will confuse BitcoinCash for Bitcoin Cash and BitcoinGold for Bitcoin Gold. The last thing we need in cryptocurrency is people filing for confusing trademarks which may redirect people to the wrong information in the process.
With both trademarks being filed for on October 3rd, it is unclear whether or not Sun & Sand Foundation will receive them. In most cases, filings such as these are either retracted or simply rejected because a similar name already exists as part of the public domain. Moreover, it is unclear what the company hopes to achieve with these filings, as there is no reason for filing for these trademarks whatsoever. Given the company’s nonexistent history with cryptocurrency, a very confusing situation is created.
One important thing to keep in mind is that no one has officially trademarked either BitcoinGold or BitcoinCash so far. There are always loopholes which may allow for companies to be granted these trademarks regardless of how they plan to use them exactly. For the time being, it is unclear when we will find out more about these filings. If the trademarks are granted, however, it is certainly possible Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold may find themselves in a bit of a pickle. All exchanges supporting either currency would have some legal issues on their hands as well.
Behavior like this is absolutely not appreciated by the general cryptocurrency community. Both Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold are designed to be open-source projects, which means trademarks shouldn’t apply to either of them whatsoever. However, some people will always try to make money from trademarking existing products if they aren’t covered by trademarks already. This is an interesting, albeit confusing situation well worth keeping an eye on.
This article was first published by JP Buntinx at The Merkle