The estate of Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien successfully stopped a new cryptocurrency that tried to launch under the name, “J.R.R. Token”. The Lord of the Rings-themed cryptocurrency, with the tagline “The One Token That Rules Them All”.
The cryptocurrency was launched in August. It came with a Cameo video endorsement from Billy Boyd, the actor who played Pippin in the films. It also made the claim that that “Saruman was trying to unify Middle Earth under centralised rule whereas the fellowship wanted decentralisation”.
Obviously, the Tolkien estate was not convinced. It took immediate action via the World Intellectual Property Organization’s arbitration procedure. The estate argued that the product infringed its trademark rights to JRR Tolkien’s name.
The WIPO arbitrator said “the respondent does not specify why the disputed domain name is humorous, funny or nail-biting, and not just a domain name chosen due to its similarities with the [Tolkien estate’s] trademarks to take commercial advantage of its evocation”.
They also pointed out that the domain name was specifically designed to mislead internet users into believing that it had a connection to J.R.R. Tolkien and his beloved fantasy book. The WIPO’s arbitrator sided with the estate. The ruling said that the name was indeed an infringement on the estate’s trademark.
The Tolkien estate has successfully recovered the domain name JRRToken. com. The developer will no longer be operating under that name, and will delete any infringing online content including social media accounts. it said on 23 November, and the US-based developer has also paid the estate’s legal costs.
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