Telegram Sues Startup over Cryptocurrency Naming Rights

Telegram has filed a trademark suit against a Florida company that also intends to create a cryptocurrency named “gram”
16 May 2018   384

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.

 

Daniel Jeffrey

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.

BlackRock to Consider Bitcoin Futures

World largest asset management firm created a workgroup to study the prospects of crypto-based futures
16 July 2018   80

Investment company BlackRock has formed a working group that should find out what benefits the world's largest asset manager can get from entering the cryptocurrency sector, despite the fact that previously its CEO had heavily criticized bitcoin. This is reported by Financial News.

The investment giant, whose assets amount to $ 6.3 trillion, created a team that included experts from various business areas. They must collect information about the cryptocurrencies, the underlying infrastructure and technology of the blockchain.

The working group, which includes investment strategist Terry Simpson, should find out whether BlackRock should invest in bitcoin futures.

Sources also reported that BlackRock is studying the experience of its competitors in this area and the potential impact of their actions on the company's business. The working group will report on the results of its research to senior management.

A spokeswoman for BlackRock reported that the company has been considering blockchain technology for several years, but declined to comment on the cryptocurrency.

The creation of a working group may mark a turning point in relations between BlackRock and cryptocurrencies. Last year, its head, Larry Fink, said that bitcoin is an extremely speculative tool, and the only reason for its popularity is its anonymity. "This is an instrument that is used for money laundering," he said bluntly.

Fink gave his comments even before the appearance of crypto-currency futures. At that time, he saw no opportunity for his company to enter this market.