19 August 2019TrademarksRory O'Neill

Oracle targets cryptocurrency startup in TM suit

US technology company Oracle has sued a cryptocurrency startup for trademark infringement and an award of profits and triple damages.

In the lawsuit, filed at the US District Court for the Northern District of California last Thursday, August 15, Oracle claimed that New York-based startup CryptoOracle’s name was confusingly similar to its own brand.

Oracle, which sells a wide range of computer software and hardware products, owns multiple trademarks for the ‘Oracle’ brand.

According to the tech corporation, its “incontestable” marks cover services related to financial services and analysis, including cryptocurrencies.

CryptoOracle, whose founder and CEO Louis Kerner was also named as a defendant in the suit, has attempted to register its brand name as a trademark.

Kerner has made several recent media appearances relating to the startup, which Oracle says caught its attention.

Oracle sent a cease-and-desist letter to the New York company, but was unable to reach an out-of-court settlement. CryptoOracle then applied to register its name as a trademark.

In its suit, Oracle called for that trademark application to be thrown out. The computer tech company argued that the term ‘crypto’ is simply a descriptive term tagged on to its ‘Oracle’ trademark.

Oracle is seeking damages and injunctive relief preventing the startup from using any marks with the term ‘Oracle’.

“No amount of money damages can adequately compensate Oracle if it loses the ability to control the use of the ‘Oracle’ marks, and its reputation and associated goodwill is damaged through the false and unauthorised use of its marks,” the suit argued.

Oracle is also seeking to recover the startup’s profits, as well as an award of treble damages for what it says is CryptoOracle’s “willful” infringement of its marks.

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