A cryptocurrency named after Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien has been blocked by the family and estate of the famous series author who died in 1973. A panel of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) based in Geneva has decided that the domain name JRRToken [dot] com, created in early August by Matthew Jensen, a Florida developer, was “puzzlingly similar” to the brand owned by Tolkien’s estate. The PMOI has since stopped the developer from operating under that name and has secured its commitment to remove any infringing online content.
Under Law 360, the US-based developer paid the estate’s legal fees for an undisclosed sum. The Tolkien Estate took over the JRRToken [dot] com, as well as the social media accounts associated with the coin.
As mentioned, the JRR token was launched in August with the sinister slogan: “The One Token That Rules Them All”. The creator of the play, a Florida man named Matthew Jensen, even splurged on some sort of commercial featuring actor Billy Boyd, who played Pippin in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and said in the clip. eventually deleted, “Do I think they go to the moon? Out and back.”
Once Tolkien’s domain learned of this token, the response was swift. The estate took action by turning to the PMOI arbitration process, arguing that the token infringed trademark rights in Tolkien’s name. The filing goes on to claim that the token’s domain name was “specifically designed to mislead Internet users into believing that he and the website it resolves to have a legitimate business connection” to Tolkien and his work.
Ultimately, the administrative panel concluded that the name choice was intentional as there was no way the creators were “not aware of Tolkien’s works” and that they had “created a website for to exchange the fame of these works “.
Steven Maier, attorney for the Tolkien Estate, said: “The Tolkien Estate is vigilant to prevent unauthorized parties from taking advantage of the JRR Tolkien name and the content of JRR Tolkien’s literary works. This was a particularly egregious case of counterfeiting and the estate is pleased that it was concluded on satisfactory terms. “
The internationally renowned literary works of JRR Tolkien, including The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, have been translated into 36 languages and have sold approximately 100 million copies worldwide.
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