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British Company Successfully Trademarked the Term ‘Bitcoin’

Trademarks and patents are often frowned upon in the world of cryptocurrency. This decentralized technology is designed to be free and open to everyone. As such, trademarks and patents can cause a lot of unnecessary hindrances. In the United Kingdom, one company successfully trademarked the word ‘Bitcoin’.

A Trademark With Major Implications

Trademarking a commonly used term is not all that straightforward. Although one could obtain a trademark for the term “Bitcoin”, enforcing that trademark will be a different matter altogether. After all, the term Bitcoin has been ‘trademarked’ before, but it was never used to prosecute people using this term irrespective of their commercial interest.

Even so, one particular company in the United Kingdom somehow managed to trademark the term “Bitcoin” in late 2017. It is a bit unclear how the company went about achieving this and what they aim to do with it moving forward. The current relationship between Monopolip Ltd. and the cryptocurrency industry also remains a bit unclear at this time.

The bigger concern is what this approved trademark filing means for the cryptocurrency industry itself. For most people and companies, this will not result in any major changes. One Reddit user, however, explained that he had received a cease and desist letter when using the Bitcoin term in connection with his T-shirt business. Considering that most of his shirts pertain to Bitcoin, there is an issue here.

Enforcing this trademark filing outside the United Kingdom will be pretty challenging. Within that nation’s borders, however, the situation is quite different. Considering that the aforementioned Reddit user is seemingly running a UK-based shop, there is some legal gray area to explore.

There have been a few unsuccessful attempts at trademarking Bitcoin the US over the past few years. That doesn’t mean people will stop trying in the years to come, though. Cryptocurrencies are extremely popular right now, and it is only normal that more people will look to them in an effort to get rich. Using various methods to do so is to be expected, although opting for a trademark filing is pretty bothersome.

It will be interesting to see how this situation plays out. The term ‘Bitcoin’ is far too generic to be trademarked, yet the UK government decided to grant the trademark regardless. Whether or not that decision will hurt the industry moving forward remains to be seen. It’s a very peculiar situation that will spark many debates moving forward.

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A group of “Call of Duty” players from Indiana are accused of stealing more than $3 million in cryptocurrencies after coercing an Illinois man to aid them in remotely hacking unsecured crypto wallets on more than 100 cell phones. Man Coerced Into Hack After SWATing Incident The episode began in Bloomington, Illinois, where a local man told the FBI he met the members of the would-be group of cybercriminals online playing Call of Duty. In the simulated warfare game, players are able to communicate with each other in real-time and with relative privacy. The group, based out of Dolton, Indiana, allegedly coerced the man from Bloomington into working for them using an intimidation tactic called “SWATing,” a nefarious, illegal, and dangerous phenomenon that has become increasingly popular in online gaming communities. SWATing is when police are called with a false report of a violent crime at someone’s home, which prompts a response from a SWAT team — oftentimes leading to door breaches, gunfire, and even the accidental deaths of unknowing victims. It’s often used as a decidedly dark method of payback, or, as in this case, to intimidate or threaten an individual. Afraid of further retaliation the man succumbed to the hacker’s requests, to which they handed over names, phone numbers, and other information that permitted him to remotely access the cell phones of their victims. According to the FBI affidavit, the man admitted to taking over the cell phones of more than 100 people. Once the group took over a phone, they were able to hack into a victim’s cryptocurrency account and drain their funds. The group is suspected of stealing at least $3.3 million in various cryptocurrency, including about $805,000 in Augur’s Reputation Tokens, according to the FBI. The suspects then allegedly moved stolen tokens through cryptocurrency networks, such as Ether or Bitcoin, to their own digital wallets. As of yet, the Chicago Sun-Times isn’t naming the suspects identified in the affidavit because they don’t appear to have been charged with any crimes. In an online interview the Bloomington man proclaimed his innocence — even going as far as to say that considers himself a victim: “I have done nothing but cooperate with Augur and the FBI,” he said. “I have never once profited from anyone [by] crypto-hacking, ever.” Crypto Thefts in First Half of 2018 Total Over $1.1 Billion According to recent study from cybersecurity firm Carbon Black, the total amount of cryptocurrency that has been stolen through cybercrime this year alone is over $1.1 billion — primarily through ransomware and exchange hacks. The firm’s report claims that many criminals are using the dark web to appropriate cryptocurrency from their victims, estimating that there are over 12,000 marketplaces with almost three times that number of crypto theft listings between them. Rick McElroy, security strategist at Carbon Black, spoke on the trend, noting how easy it is for cybercriminals to operate these days: “It’s surprising just how easy it is without any tech skill to commit cybercrimes like ransomware… It’s not always these large nefarious groups, it’s in anybody’s hands.” Part of the reason for this is the accessibility and user-friendliness of the tools of the trade. McElroy said that certain pieces of malware even come with customer service to aid would-be cybercriminals, adding that the malicious software costs an average of $224 but can be picked up for as little as $1.04. Many of the attacks against crypto users, companies, and exchanges originate from an organized group of criminals like those out of Indiana, however, McElroy says, they’re just as likely to be the product of a trained engineer who is out of work: “You have nations that are teaching coding, but there’s no jobs… It could just be two people in Romania needing to pay rent.” Image from Shutterstock The post FBI: “Call of Duty” Players Remotely Stole $3.3 Million in Cryptocurrencies appeared first on NewsBTC.

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