Couple Trying To Trademark Bitcoin Via Dubious Claims

from the any-penalties-for-such-filings? dept

Via Slashdot we learn that someone has filed for a trademark on the word Bitcoin.
The Slashdot report claims that it's the lawyer, Michael S. Pascazi, filing for the trademark, but it's at least a little more complicated. It looks like Pascazi is acting as counsel for Magellan Capital Advisors. However, it does appear that Pascazi may have some further direct connection to Magellan, as the example of "first use" in commerce sent with the trademark filing is a letter from Magellan to some guy (Michel Mouchon) offering to sell "Bitcoin"... and the letter is signed by Celine M. Pascazi, which the Slashdot report says is Michael's wife. Furthermore, Pascazi's law firm has put up a pdf file touting the benefits of Bitcoin, and noting that Bitcoin is pending trademark to Magellan. On top of that, the pdf lists Celine Mouchon Pascazi as working for the Pascazi Law Offices.

Mouchon? Oh wait. Michel Mouchon is the person the original offer was made to... I'm sure that's just a coincidence, right?

Yeah, it's not hard to put two and two together here. I mean, just the fact that they're claiming the first use in commerce was June 22nd of this year should lead to the application not passing the laugh test. But I do wonder, are there penalties for trying to mislead the USPTO in a trademark filing?

Filed Under: bitcoin, celine pascazi, michael pascazi, trademark
Companies: magellan capital advisors, pascazi law

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  1. icon
    John William Nelson (profile), 7 Jul 2011 @ 7:43pm

    Re: Bitcoin Trademark in Civil Law Countries

    Mr. Pascazi does not really understand trademark law, it appears. While he is correct that many civil law countries have a first-to-file process, that does not mean they have no ability to challenge the issuance of the mark.

    A trademark must be a source identifier. In other words, Mr. Pascazi's 'client' must be recognized as the source of a product by consumers if the mark Bitcoin is used.

    As for enforcing international marks in the U.S., this is not as easily done as Mr. Pascazi would hope. Especially if he is able to obtain a registration abroad on such shaky grounds. It could still be subject to the same cancellation process as a U.S. mark.

    The question is whether Mr. Pascazi will truly try and enforce a foreign mark on foreign soil. Paying international lawyers is not cheap.

    And will he continue to maintain the mark and defend it against attacks?

    Mr. Pascazi's client is over-reaching. I recommend Mr. Pascazi or his lawyer consult real trademark attorneys about this. They might receive more thorough advice.

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