Encrypted messaging company Telegram filed the suit on May 11 in the San Francisco branch of the US District Court for the Northern District of California, alleging that Lantah LLC violated Telegram’s service mark rights when it filed a trademark application for “gram” in February.
The Pavel Durov-led firm raised $1.7 billion from a group of less than 200 accredited investors to fund the development of the future Telegram Open Network (TON), which native cryptocurrency will be called GRAM.
In February Lantah LLC filed a trademark registration for “gram,” stating that it intended to develop a “virtual currency for use by members of an online community via a global computer network.” That application was filed after Telegram had begun raising funds for its network.
Telegram claims that it has acquired “common law trademark rights” to GRAM since it has already conducted a “widely reported on and highly successful offering of Purchase Agreements” using the term. The firm further alleges that Lantah is operating in bad faith and seeks to profit from brand confusion.
Lantah was publicly using the Gram name before we were even aware of Telegram’s decision to market one of their products with the same name. This was backed up by the availability of the trademark. We are now having the matter reviewed by counsel.
Founder, Lantah LLC
Jeffrey also said that contrary to Telegram’s claim, Lantah was using the “gram” trademark before it was even aware that Telegram had decided to market a product under the same name.