So let’s first talk history. We started our journey in 2017 and began using the ticker symbol/mark $COIN as our token ticker symbol for the following reasons:
- Alignment with the company name
- No record of trademark and use in commerce by any other company
- Alignment with our mission of simplicity (which we believe the name embodies)
As with other IP, we found value in this asset and wanted to protect the symbol for the best interests of our business and our token holders (which is not an uncommon practice). This process included months of time and resources working alongside the USPTO office for approval. After diligence by the USPTO office and an open opposition period for the general public, the trademark was approved as seen here: https://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=88748452&caseType=SERIAL_NO&searchType=statusSearch
The rise of the blockchain industry since 2017 has spawned many new companies including some that have also used $COIN as a ticker symbol due to its simplicity and desirability in name. As a result, we began to experience the material impact of this. For example, inaccurate data points such as pricing information and wallet balance information. Some examples of this are below:
This problem is attributed to oracles, wallets, and exchanges using API data from listing sites for these data points. When there is a conflict in symbols, some API’s return undesirable results that are not accurate. One way to resolve this is to contact each listing site and API provider to devise a system to ascertain different token symbols and parse data correctly. Unfortunately, this is not feasible nor efficient as there are many providers with various implementations. The other way to resolve this is to ensure that there are no duplicate token ticker symbols.
We then decided to protect our token holders and business by reaching out to others that were infringing on the ticker symbol/mark for resolution. This effort included reaching out to the parties themselves as well as a follow up from our counsel in the event of no response. In nearly all cases, we worked out agreements with all parties.
This afternoon, one of the parties that we are still in discussions with (Coin_Artist), decided to publicly announce our interactions. Additionally, paint a picture that is not fully representative of the situation. We now feel the need to clarify the situation and our position so that there is no confusion on the matter. Here our some clear questions and responses to help this further:
Did our counsel contact Coin_Artist seeking resolution?
Yes, however, a legal notice is not a lawsuit. It is an opportunity to resolve the matter and does not require legal representation.
Are you suing any parties or seeking damages from any parties?
No, we are not interested in this strategy.
What are you seeking from Coin_Artist and others that are using the $COIN ticker symbol/mark?
We are seeking private and civil resolution to protect the token holders and users from all communities that are impacted due to the conflicting ticker symbol/mark.
Are you trying to protect anyone from using the name or word Coin?
No. We support anyone trying to grow the industry and welcome everyone to use it. We are only seeking to provide an acceptable resolution that prevents confusion and the possible loss or management of funds for all users, that results from having inaccurate data.
But what about others that have been using $COIN prior to 2017?
Prior to submitting our trademark request, we performed research to ensure that we were not infringing ourselves. We discovered that there were no parties that were using the ticker symbol/mark, in commerce, as required by US trademark law. This in turn was validated by the USPTO trademark during their months of diligence which then led to their approval.
Since contacting Coin_Artist, her team has decided to engage counsel. All parties have been communicating privately together for weeks in an attempt to resolve the matter. We were disappointed to recently receive confirmation that she was not interested in updating her token ticker symbol for the betterment of both of our communities. Additionally, to make this event public.
Sadly, this situation has been made to appear that:
- We are bullying Coin_Artist and have opened a legal case to defend ourselves
- We are attempting to protect the word “Coin” from being used in the industry
Both of these could not be more far from the truth including the events that have led to this matter. Our priority has always been to put the needs of our community first. That includes protecting the interests of our token holders as well as hers. We hope that Coin_Artist and others take the same approach instead of communicating this as a personal attack.
Let us be clear, we at Coin, are not asking anyone to change their name, branding, or use of the word Coin across the industry. We are not interested in legal disputes and personal attacks. We have also never put a negative light on anyone involved in these matters. All of this can be validated in our interactions including today over social media. Our goal is to seek an outcome that helps provide accurate data for all users and communities that this impacts including Coin and Coin_Artist.
To resolve this issue, we are proposing to work together on a viable solution that meets all of our business needs. This has included an offer from our team to assist in engineering assistance in the event of token, swap, or other development. We are also open to exploring other viable alternatives including collaboration and ideas from the listing and API providers.
We at Coin, have a fiscal and legal obligation to protect the best interests of our business and token holders. We are also flexible and interested in working together with entities to prevent the disruption of our business and overall industry. We strongly believe that our flexibility in working together and these proposed solutions offer the best balance for us all. Despite owning the trademark as well as the backlash from those that are not fully informed on the situation… We would still like to apologize to everyone for the distraction that this has created and hope to come to resolution with all parties and move forward.