Telegram Sues Blockchain Start-Up For Trademark MisuseMay 15, 2018, 11:35AM
Telegram sued Lantah for the infringing misuse of the "GRAM" trademark. Start-ups often mislead consumers by using logos of famous companies.
The popular messaging app Telegram filed a trademark lawsuit against Lantah LLC on May 11. The cryptocurrencies industry is still unexplored and developing companies frequently try to allure investors by using logos that relate to established corporations.
The filing in the federal court of San Francisco, states that the plaintiff (Telegram) has taken legal action against Lantah's willfully infringing attempt to register the name “GRAM” for its digital currency. Telegram claims to have acquired “common law trademark rights” over GRAM, a service mark the company previously adopted to use for its native cryptocurrency at the launch of the Telegram Open Network.
“Lantah’s use of ‘gram’ for a cryptocurrency will inevitably cause a likelihood of consumer confusion, harm the goodwill in Telegram’s service mark, and cause confusion as to the source, origin, and/or sponsorship of Telegram’s cryptocurrency services.”
To further back its arguments, Telegram’s lawsuit refers to publicly available reports that venture capital firms like Sequoia Capital and Benchmark have already signed deals for the purchase GRAM tokens, associated with Pavel Durov’s messaging platform. Hence, Telegram has prior rights over the trademark and the legal action’s purpose is to prevent the deceiving misuse of “GRAM” towards the consumers. Created by Daniel Jeffery, Lantah is a blockchain platform that aims to revolutionize commerce. Its cryptocurrency is formatted on the metric system from which the name GRAM is derived.
Telegram was represented by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom law firm. Created in 2013, Telegram counts 200 million users and 70 billion messages are sent through its platform on a daily basis. The fundraising for the development of Telegram’s payment platform (gathering $1.7 billion) by a small group of private investors, was so successful that further plans for an Initial Coin Offering were canceled. Lantah’s Jeffery has not yet provided any comments about Telegram’s lawsuit.
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