Dogecoin, the satirical cryptocurrency which shot to fame thanks to Elon Musk, is currently entangled in a trademark battle as several organisations, including the original Dogecoin Foundation, are looking to trademark the Dogecoin name for themselves.
Dogecoin began as a joke by founders Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer – but the eccentric payment system propelled to fame rather quickly, with its value jumping to nearly 300% within 72 hours not two weeks post-creation. Dogecoin’s appearance is sure to have contributed to its initial fame in the public sphere. Marked by the face of a Shiba Inu from the ‘Doge’ meme, the coin’s intrinsic humour and novelty caught the attention of Tesla founder Elon Musk, whose tweets about Dogecoin boosted its popularity to greater heights.
Interest in Dogecoin is most strongly rooted in social media communities such as Reddit, who have been responsible for the various surges in value of the cryptocurrency. Although the price of Dogecoin remains volatile, transactions made via the cryptocurrency have transcended from the online community to real-life fundraisers, including 30,000 USD to aid participation in the Winter Olympics for the Jamaican bobsled team.
The meme-coin, despite being 8-years-old, has never been trademarked by original founders or organisation, the Dogecoin Foundation. The nonprofit was formed in 2014 but became inactive over time as Markus and Palmer began to distance themselves from Dogecoin. The Foundation has since been revived in August 2021, with board members consisting of Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin and close colleague of Elon Musk, Jared Birchall.
Dogecoin Foundation staked their claim by filing a trademark the Dogecoin name but unfortunately, they are not alone in the race to capitalise on Dogecoin’s brand value. The Wall Street Journal reported at least 100 cryptocurrencies utilising the term ‘doge’, such as Baby DogeCoin, formed by fans of the original Dogecoin. According to news reports, the Dogecoin trademark has been filed multiple times with the USPTO. One of those includes Moon Rabbit AngoZaibatsu LLC, who has insisted that the trademark filing was not done in ill-will.
Founder Angel Versitti claims:
‘We thought it was abandoned, we thought it desperately needed guidance. We’re not going to make a U-turn just because the big kid came back to the playground.’source
The Dogecoin Foundation has vocalised their stance on third parties attempting to trademark Dogecoin in a released statement and additional interviews. The statement read:
‘For many years, the Dogecoin community has continued to think the best of people and hoped that everyone could play nicely with the name and logos. Dogecoin belongs to the people after all.’
‘However, in recent times, numerous attempts have been made to co-opt the ‘Dogecoin’ brand in various jurisdictions, in ways that would prevent the community and the project itself from using them.’
‘Not many people know this, but we would like to commend one Very Good Shibe: Jens Wiechers, who since 2014 has single-handedly and at great personal expense fought these kinds of attacks through the trademark office under the banner of the Dogecoin Foundation to protect everyone’s right to use the Dogecoin brand.’
Read the full statement here.
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