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Cryptocurrency firm faces Disney-sized hurdle over trademarks

On Behalf of | Jan 28, 2020 | Intellectual Property

Disney’s wide swath of popular characters, films and franchises has a number of fans in New York, but the company is also known for its fierce enforcement of its intellectual property rights over all its famous figures and movies. Now the entertainment giant has successfully prevented a blockchain company from filing three trademarks that could also be used to apply to its famous characters. On Nov. 6, 2019, three applications filed by the blockchain company Tron were rejected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

In all three cases, including one application for “TRON” itself, Disney filed an objection, saying that if the trademarks were registered, they would cause harm to the entertainment company’s brand. The blockchain company did not file a response to Disney’s objection. Tron, the blockchain company, is led by a Chinese CEO who raised $70 million to fund the Tron cryptocurrency through a large-scale initial coin offering (ICO) in September 2017. He has invested millions of dollars in an attempt to attract more developers and investors to the project, hoping to raise Tron’s profile as a desirable cryptocurrency alongside popular choices like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Tron’s CEO has previously stated that he wants the company to become the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by the end of 2019, a goal that appears impossible to meet. While the trademark rejections are a setback for the project, the CEO tweeted that Tron has a number of other trademark applications on file for different classes of goods to which Disney has not objected or filed a challenge.

Trademarks protect goods and services in specific classes of activities or categories of merchandise. They can be an important part of a business’s strategy to protect its intellectual property. An attorney may advise businesses on how to select, develop and register their trademarks and pursue instances of infringement.