CCN previously reported on a move by Coinbase to trademark the crypto rallying cry “BUIDL,” but it turns out there’s nothing to fear. According to Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan, Coinbase has no interest in actually using the trademark in any way that prevents others in the community from using it themselves. They’re doing so for the good of crypto, he said, and will give it back to the community after it’s approved.
Saw the commotion on Twitter & dug into this. Coinbase filed the trademark for BUIDL some time back. I learned about it today & chatted with team. TLDR is that @brian_armstrong & I don’t believe in trademarks for stuff like this so we’ll be giving this one back to the community.
— Balaji S. Srinivasan (@balajis) December 6, 2018
According to the tweet, billionaire Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong and Srinivasan talked it over and concluded that there’s no need of the trademark from the company’s perspective, but they do want to protect it from other companies outside of the crypto community who might decide to trademark it.
PS: to my knowledge, the first use of BUIDL was actually in a talk I gave back in April 2015 way before joining Coinbase. But it’s entered the common crypto lexicon at this point and we wouldn’t have it any other way.https://t.co/NaEyVXBNUb
— Balaji S. Srinivasan (@balajis) December 7, 2018
Twitter personalities were disturbed by the move without having clarification from the company. The move has been in motion for a couple of months and is not yet official. Those who still do not like “Bitcoin banks” in general, including Coinbase, will likely not have their fears assuaged by the sentiment of the CTO. After all, just because they say they’re not going to use it for anything doesn’t mean they can’t. If a competitor decided to use the term in an advertising company, banking on the fact that they had said they don’t believe in trademarks for things like this, could they not initiate a cease and desist nevertheless? According to the Small Business Administration:
“Registering a trademark guarantees exclusive use, establishes legally that your mark is not already being used, and provides government protection from any liability or infringement issues that may arise. Being cautious in the beginning can certainly save you trouble in the long run. You may choose to personally apply for trademark registration or hire an intellectual property lawyer to register for you.”
In any case, for now, we’re all free to keep buidling and using the term buidl, a much less popular community-born watchword than “hodl.”
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