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Mt.Gox Looking to Sell Bitcoin Trademark, Can Anyone Actually Use It ?

Posted on the 29 May 2014 by Worldwide @thedomains

Bitcoin

The parent company of bankrupt Mt.Gox is looking to sell the trademark and bitcoins.com to raise some funds to repay creditors of Mt. Gox. Several publications covered the story, we looked at three. The interesting part that Coin Desk covered was whether or not a trademark could actually hold up.

The Telegraph reported on the story

The company overseeing bankruptcy proceedings for the collapsed exchange Mt. Gox hopes to sell the “Bitcoin” trademark and the bitcoins.com domain name in a bundle to raise “at least” ¥100 million (£580,000), according to reports.

In February the exchange filed for bankruptcy protection and ceased trading, claiming that it had lost 744,000 Bitcoins belonging to customers, worth £251m at the time and representing six per cent of the 12.4 million bitcoins in worldwide circulation.

Read the full story here

The Drum had a different figure in mind,

The company overseeing the bankruptcy of Mt. Gox is putting the Bitcoins trademark up for sale, as well as the bitcoins.com domain name, with the bundle expected to be snatched up for about £9.5m.

Mt. Gox said when it filed for the trademark that it did so because it “felt obliged to step up and oppose opportunists around the world from trademarking the concept and term”.

Read the full story here

Coin Desk covered the story and questioned whether a trademark on Bitcoin could actually be enforced.

From the article:

For an expert’s take, CoinDesk spoke with Daliah Saper of Saper Law, a Chicago-based attorney who specializes in intellectual property. Saper, whose firm began accepting bitcoin payments in 2013, remarked that at anyone who owns the trademark would likely have a hard time actually enforcing it internationally.

Saper explained:

“It’s a generic term — no one can own ‘shirt’ for shirts or ‘watch’ for watch. Bitcoin is the only way that people can reference bitcoin without talking about what it is.”

Tibanne is also selling its bitcoin-related domain names in a package it hopes will net at least $1m – a sum that could potentially be used to repay creditors.

An executive from Tibanne told The Wall Street Journal that, as a result of Mt. Gox’s collapse, the company simply wasn’t using the domains anymore.

Read the full story here


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