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Telegram Drops Trademark Suit for GRAM


Telegram’s doomed cryptocurrency bid has left the company with some legal fees to pay, as it recently dropped a trademark lawsuit for the name of its token. Bloomberg Law reported yesterday that the mobile messaging giant dropped a lawsuit against Lantah LLC that originated over the latter’s use of the “GRAM” name for its token offering.

A Botched Crypto Project 

Telegram had sued Lantah in 2018. At the time, the mobile messaging company had recently raised $1.7 billion through an Initial Coin Offering and was planning to issue tokens of the same name. While Telegram first revealed plans for its digital token in December 2017, Lantah had been operating months earlier and claimed to have been planning its token issuance before Telegram.

Lantah filed counterclaims on the grounds that it had priority for the trademark. However, a judge granted Telegram’s request to bar the company from using the token name. At the time, the judge explained that Telegram had begun using the GRAM name in a commercial context before Lantah. Sadly, it all came to nothing after Telegram was forced to abandon its crypto project after a prolonged battle with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Since the company didn’t have any use for the “GRAM” trademark anymore, it dropped the suit against Lantah. As Bloomberg Law reported, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer ordered the mobile messaging giant to pay Lantah’s attorney fees.

More Fallout from the GRAM Failure 

The suit with Lantah isn’t the only financial commitment that Telegram has to deal with after its crypto and blockchain projects’ failure. In June, the SEC confirmed that it had settled its case with the company. A final judgment for the Telegram vs. SEC case shows that the company would now have to pay back $1.2 billion in fees.

Of the $1.2 billion payment, Telegram will pay $1.19 billion as termination amounts and commitments to investors in the ICO. The company is also liable for a civil penalty of $18.5 million. The payment was expected within 30 days of the judgment’s granting.

The mobile messaging company’s reputation and bottom line have suffered significantly since it dropped its crypto aspirations. Some have even speculated that Pavel Durov, the company’s founder and CEO, might be considering selling it. Earlier this month, Russian tech publication iXBT reported that internet company Mail.ru was one of the parties interested in acquiring Telegram. The publication also noted that an unnamed billionaire had thrown his hat in the ring.

Shortly after the publication went live, Durov shot back in a Telegram post. While his post focused more on the United States’ action against Chinese video and content creation platform TikTok, he confirmed that he wasn’t interested in selling his company.

“We are not selling Telegram – neither in part, nor in full. This will always be our position,” Durov said, adding that the company has a history of declining offers to sell their operations in specific countries. 



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