Chia Project and Journalist Exchange Legal Barbs Over Trademark Issue

Chia is arguing the unauthorized use of its trademark will mislead and confuse community members. Chris Dupres disagrees.

Jun 3, 2021 at 1:34 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:05 p.m. UTC

The green-focused blockchain project Chia Network and a journalist who recently started a blog focused on the Bram Cohen-founded company have exchanged legal barbs over whether the website has the right to use the Chia name.

Chia has asked journalist Chris Dupres, the founder of thechiaplot.net, to discontinue the use of the company's name because it violates trademark law. Dupres' attorney, Paul Alan Levy from Public Citizen, responded with a fiery letter Wednesday to Chia's head of IP Belle Borovik, insisting the blog name was not misleading.

"Just how gullible do you expect your customers to be?" wrote Levy in the letter, which was linked to a Dupres' blog post. "I daresay that even the proverbial moron in a hurry would be able to recognize, immediately upon visiting The Chia Plot, that this is a website devoted to journalism about your company rather than being sponsored by your company."

Chia is arguing the unauthorized use of its trademark "exposes community members to potential scammers, misleading and confusing them." The blog is only around two weeks old.

On May 25, the project sent a letter to Dupres outlining the concerns over the use of the name "Chia" citing the "unauthorized use of Chia Network’s registered ... mark," or logos.

The project subsequently asked Dupres to respond, which he did via Levy, stating he would not back down from the use of the name.

"Dupres is not going to comply," wrote Levy, who went on to say Chia had no right to authorize the use of an "unregistered" trademark against websites discussing Chia.

Levy also cited 10 years' worth of precedent trademark case law where companies threatening or pursuing legal action had failed. He has given Chia until June 9 to retract its demand that Dupres stop using the name Chia.

Dupres is not willing to keep operating his website subject to the threat of alleged trademark damages.

"Failing a prompt retraction, a request for waiver of service could well be the next communication you receive on this topic," wrote Levy.

UPDATE (June 7, 03:00 UTC): Embedded letter by Dupres' lawyer, below.

Levy to Borovik by CoinDesk on Scribd

The Festival for the Decentralized World
Thursday - Sunday, June 9-12, 2022
Austin, Texas
Save a Seat Now

DISCLOSURE

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Trending

1
CoinDesk - Unknown
Crypto Valley Venture Capital Launches African Blockchain Early-Stage Fund

The venture capital investor published a report which found funding for African blockchain startups far outpaced investment in other venture funding.

The venture capital investor published a report which found funding for African blockchain startups far outpaced investment in other venture funding.

CoinDesk - Unknown
2
CoinDesk - Unknown
First Mover Asia: Terra's Difficult Post-Collapse Path: VCs Backing Away, Regulators Jumping on Stablecoins

Some investors see salvageable pieces in the rubble while others are bemoaning their involvement and want to forget the protocol ever existed; bitcoin edges up in weekend trading.

Some investors see salvageable pieces in the rubble while others are bemoaning their involvement and want to forget the protocol ever existed; bitcoin edges up in weekend trading.

CoinDesk - Unknown
3
CoinDesk - Unknown
China Can’t Seem to Stop Bitcoin Mining

Reported hashrate fell to zero for two months in China last year, but it has since returned rather abruptly.

Reported hashrate fell to zero for two months in China last year, but it has since returned rather abruptly.

CoinDesk - Unknown
4
CoinDesk - Unknown
Could Local Digital Currencies Improve Communities?

That's the argument of the president of the RadicalxChange Foundation.

That's the argument of the president of the RadicalxChange Foundation.

CoinDesk - Unknown