Coinbase hit by proposed trademark lawsuit over Nano derivatives

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Crypto exchange Coinbase has been named as a defendant in a legal complaint filed by NanoLabs – the company behind the digital currency Nano (NANO) – for alleged trademark infringement.

In February 24 deposit with the Northern District of California court, NanoLabs alleged that Coinbase’s Nano Bitcoin futures and Nano Ether futures products infringe trademark rights owned by them.

It is also alleged that the infringement caused economic harm to NanoLabs and impaired its brand identity, resulting in “actual harm and irreparable harm.”

Colin LeMahieu founded the digital currency Nano in 2014; which was originally called RaiBlocks. It was renamed Nano on January 31, 2018.

Years later, Coinbase launched its Nano Bitcoin futures contract on June 27, 2022 and its Nano Ether futures contract on August 29, 2022.

In the complaint, NanoLabs argued that the offerings launched by Coinbase are “derivative products” based on Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), which are “identical or very similar” to its digital currency Nano.

He also argued that Coinbase targets the same type of consumers as NanoLabs, namely “those looking to invest in and use a digital currency”, and that Coinbase’s product brands “are identical and (.. .) look confusingly,” at NanoLabs.

It also alleges that Coinbase had complete knowledge of the Nano digital currency before launching its products due to correspondence between the two companies from 2018, which later led to Coinbase denying NanoLab’s request to list Nano on Coinbase.

“Thus, since at least October 17, 2018, various department heads and directors, as well as associates, in various Coinbase departments were familiar with the Nano Digital Currency.”

NanoLabs further argued that Coinbase should have “knew that offering Nano Bitcoin on the Coinbase Derivates Exchange would only further confuse consumers.”

“Particularly because the Nano Digital Currency is not listed on the Coinbase Exchange and the defendants provide no disclaimer, distinction or otherwise to educate consumers at this stage,” the court documents state.

Related: Judge dismisses proposed class action lawsuit alleging sale of Coinbase securities

NanoLabs is asking the court for an injunction against Coinbase to restrain them from using the word “Nano” and all related trademarks and domain names of a similar nature.

NanoLabs is also seeking at least $5 million in damages, corrective publicity from Coinbase, the destruction of all materials infringing the Nano trademark, and the forfeiture of all profits made by Coinbase using the Nano trademarks. He asked for a jury trial.

Excerpt from NanoLabs complaint against Coinbase. Source: court auditor

Cointelegraph has reached out to Coinbase and NanoLabs for comment, but has not received a response at press time.