NanoLabs Files $5 Million Lawsuit against Coinbase over Nano Trademark

Monday, 27/02/2023 | 09:07 GMT by Damian Chmiel
  • The trademark infringement lawsuit concerns Coinbase's Nano BTC and ETH futures.
  • NanoLabs claims to have suffered brand and moral damage.
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NanoLabs, a cryptocurrency company and the Nano (NANO) token issuer, has launched a lawsuit over the alleged infringement of its trademarks. Coinbase, one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges, is named as a defendant.

NanoLabs Hit Coinbase with Potential Trademark Lawsuit

In a document filed in a Northern California District Court on 24 February 2023, the NANO issuer alleges that the exchange 's Nano Bitcoin and Nano Ether futures contract products, which Coinbase has been offering since June 2022, infringe on trademark rights owned by Nano Labs.

The similarity in naming, according to NanoLabs, was expected to lead to economic damage and undermine the brand's market identity. NANO tokens are currently valued at less than one dollar, and the market capitalization of the entire network is $121 million. However, the network's activity is presently shallow and daily volumes do not exceed one million dollars.

Development of the project began in 2014 under the name RaiBlocks. In January 2018, the Founder and CEO of NanoLabs decided to rebrand and change it to Nano. Coinbase's futures offering, called Nano, on the other hand, appeared on the market in 2022.

"Defendants did not begin using the Nano Bitcoin and Ether Marks on or in connection with any goods or services until 27 June 2022, several years after Plaintiff had established its Nano Marks and related goodwill in the Nano Digital Currency," the court document stated.

In the indictment, NanoLabs states that the products offered by the exchange are "identical or highly similar types of offerings as Plaintiff's digital currency." Additionally, the company believes that Coinbase is targeting a similar group of customers, hurting NanoLabs' business.

Watch the recent FMLS22 Executive Interview with Lory Kehoe, the Director of EMEA Business Development at Coinbase.

NanoLabs Wants $5 Million from Coinbase

Judicial representatives of NanoLabs want the court to start a jury trial for the alleged infringements by Coinbase and award the company a minimum of $5 million in damages for trademark infringement.

In addition, the NANO issuer wants Coinbase to stop using the word Nano and the Nano trademarks by the exchange and related when promoting and selling cryptos or crypto products. NanoLabs also wants the exchange to engage in corrective advertising to restore the value of NANO's intellectual property.

The complete list of claims is available below:

Coinbase vs Nanolabs
Excerpt from NanoLabs complaint. Source: Courtlistener.com

Coinbase Pays a Fine in the Netherlands

NanoLabs' lawsuit is not the only legal issue on Coinbase's shoulders. The leading digital assets exchange has been slapped with a hefty $3.3 million fine by the Dutch central bank, De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB).

According to the DNB's press release from January, the fine was imposed due to unauthorized crypto activities at the Coinbase exchange from November 2020 until at least 24 August 2022. Coinbase Europe Limited, the European subsidiary of Coinbase, has been operating without registration in the Netherlands.

Previously, the Dutch central bank had imposed a registration requirement on all cryptocurrency service providers in May of the same year, citing the high risk of money laundering and terrorist financing.

A fine of an identical amount was paid a few months earlier by its rival platform Binance.

NanoLabs, a cryptocurrency company and the Nano (NANO) token issuer, has launched a lawsuit over the alleged infringement of its trademarks. Coinbase, one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges, is named as a defendant.

NanoLabs Hit Coinbase with Potential Trademark Lawsuit

In a document filed in a Northern California District Court on 24 February 2023, the NANO issuer alleges that the exchange 's Nano Bitcoin and Nano Ether futures contract products, which Coinbase has been offering since June 2022, infringe on trademark rights owned by Nano Labs.

The similarity in naming, according to NanoLabs, was expected to lead to economic damage and undermine the brand's market identity. NANO tokens are currently valued at less than one dollar, and the market capitalization of the entire network is $121 million. However, the network's activity is presently shallow and daily volumes do not exceed one million dollars.

Development of the project began in 2014 under the name RaiBlocks. In January 2018, the Founder and CEO of NanoLabs decided to rebrand and change it to Nano. Coinbase's futures offering, called Nano, on the other hand, appeared on the market in 2022.

"Defendants did not begin using the Nano Bitcoin and Ether Marks on or in connection with any goods or services until 27 June 2022, several years after Plaintiff had established its Nano Marks and related goodwill in the Nano Digital Currency," the court document stated.

In the indictment, NanoLabs states that the products offered by the exchange are "identical or highly similar types of offerings as Plaintiff's digital currency." Additionally, the company believes that Coinbase is targeting a similar group of customers, hurting NanoLabs' business.

Watch the recent FMLS22 Executive Interview with Lory Kehoe, the Director of EMEA Business Development at Coinbase.

NanoLabs Wants $5 Million from Coinbase

Judicial representatives of NanoLabs want the court to start a jury trial for the alleged infringements by Coinbase and award the company a minimum of $5 million in damages for trademark infringement.

In addition, the NANO issuer wants Coinbase to stop using the word Nano and the Nano trademarks by the exchange and related when promoting and selling cryptos or crypto products. NanoLabs also wants the exchange to engage in corrective advertising to restore the value of NANO's intellectual property.

The complete list of claims is available below:

Coinbase vs Nanolabs
Excerpt from NanoLabs complaint. Source: Courtlistener.com

Coinbase Pays a Fine in the Netherlands

NanoLabs' lawsuit is not the only legal issue on Coinbase's shoulders. The leading digital assets exchange has been slapped with a hefty $3.3 million fine by the Dutch central bank, De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB).

According to the DNB's press release from January, the fine was imposed due to unauthorized crypto activities at the Coinbase exchange from November 2020 until at least 24 August 2022. Coinbase Europe Limited, the European subsidiary of Coinbase, has been operating without registration in the Netherlands.

Previously, the Dutch central bank had imposed a registration requirement on all cryptocurrency service providers in May of the same year, citing the high risk of money laundering and terrorist financing.

A fine of an identical amount was paid a few months earlier by its rival platform Binance.

About the Author: Damian Chmiel
Damian Chmiel
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About the Author: Damian Chmiel
Damian's adventure with financial markets began at the Cracow University of Economics, where he obtained his MA in finance and accounting. Starting from the retail trader perspective, he collaborated with brokerage houses and financial portals in Poland as an independent editor and content manager. His adventure with Finance Magnates began in 2016, where he is working as a business intelligence analyst.
  • 1533 Articles
  • 33 Followers

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