A cryptocurrency named after famed Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien has been blocked by the late author’s estate.
Lawyers for the Tolkein estate filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) one day after the JRR Tokens went on sale. According to the complaint, the name of the cryptocurrency “constitutes an impersonation of the complainant’s trademark JRR Tolkien and can be viewed only as an instrument of fraud designed to mislead internet users into believing that it and the website to which it resolves have some legitimate commercial connection with the complainant.”
The creation of the one token that rules them all
The domain name jrrtoken.com was registered in February 2021. More than six months later on August 6, 2021, JRR Tokens went on sale with the jrrtoken.com domain now redirecting to thetokenofpower.com. The token was launched with a promotional video by Billy Boyd, who played Pippin in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movies.
Before crashing down to $0, the cryptocurrency hit a high of $0.000000062 in late August.
WIPO sentences JRR Token to death by Mount Doom
In response to the Tolkien estate’s complaint, the US-based developer attempted to defend itself stating that the name is clearly a parody, which is generally protected.
“The fact that the disputed domain name brings to mind the complainant’s trademarks is indicative of the parody evoked by the JRR Token mark, not of any purported bad faith.”
However, the WIPO dismissed this claim stating that “the respondent does not specify why the disputed domain name is humorous, funny or nail-biting and not just a domain name chosen due to its similarities with the [Tolkien] trademarks, to take commercial advantage of its evocation.”
The WIPO’s final decision ordered the US-based developer to transfer the web domain and all associated social media accounts to the Tolkien estate.