Doge Eat Doge Kind of World: Dogecoin Fights for Its Name in Trademark Complaints

Galicia, Spain; June 11, 2021:Dogecoin coin isolated on black background.
Andres Victorero / Getty Images

Dogecoin, which was created as a joke — its name a reference to a popular internet meme–and which was propelled to fame by crypto-lovers such as Elon Musk, is fighting back to reclaim its name, purpose and mission after several other cryptos used some iteration of its name.

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The Dogecoin Foundation, a nonprofit formed in 2014 by Dogecoin’s creators and supporters, filed an official claim on the dogecoin brand name in late August.

“Most believed it’s not worth registering those trademarks because who knows how long this would survive. Now we basically are ruing that a little bit,” Jens Wiechers, a Dogecoin Foundation board member, told The Wall Street Journal.

The foundation announced its relaunch in August, according to a statement.

“For many years, the Dogecoin community has continued to think the best of people and hoped that everyone could play nicely with the name and logos. Dogecoin belongs to the people after all,” the foundation said in the statement. “However, in recent times, numerous attempts have been made to co-opt the ‘Dogecoin’ brand in various jurisdictions, in ways that would prevent the community and the project itself from using them. Not many people know this, but we would like to commend one Very Good Shibe: Jens Wiechers, who since 2014 has single-handedly and at great personal expense fought these kinds of attacks through the trademark office under the banner of the Dogecoin Foundation to protect everyone’s right to use the Dogecoin brand.”

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Indeed, The Wall Street Journal reports that today, there are almost 100 cryptocurrency tokens that use the moniker or ticker “doge,” according to CoinMarketCap.com, with new projects from this year including Dogelon Mars and Baby DogeCoin. On May 24, a Cook Islands-based company Moon Rabbit AngoZaibatsu LLC applied for dogecoin trademarks in the U.S. and the European Union, the WSJ reports and another newcomer, deemed “Dogecoin 2.0,” also appeared, aiming “to offer investors prolonged growth in utilizing a much more sustainable tokenomics structure than its somewhat inflated predecessor,” according to its website.

Discover: 6 Biggest Myths About Cryptocurrency

In response, the Dogecoin Foundation said that “as always, it “welcomes newcomers to the crypto space but this project has no connection to or relationship with Dogecoin.”

“To protect the Dogecoin community from being misled and to protect the Dogecoin name from possible misuse we have asked our brand protection lawyers to contact the developers of the ‘Dogecoin 2.0’ product,” the foundation said in a statement. “We hope our reasonable request will see their development team select a new name for their project which does not infringe on the rights and reputation of the Dogecoin project, and we look forward to any innovations they may make in their future endeavors.”

As such, any claim of “partnering up” appears to be designed to create a false appearance of partnership and association with the long-established Dogecoin project and Dogecoin Foundation.

The foundation also added that the Dogecoin Project and the Dogecoin Foundation are “actively in the process of opposing these and other bad faith attempts to register such trademarks on the grounds that those entities have no connection to Dogecoin and are attempting to profit unfairly off of the goodwill Dogecoin has built over the last eight years since its inception.”

Doge was at $0.25 today, according to CoinMarketCap data, and has a $32 billion market cap, which makes it the ninth-largest crypto by market cap. The crypto started the year at $0.004681 on January 1 and reached a record $.068 on May 8, prior to Musk’s “Saturday Night Live” hosting gig, before plummeting to $0.42, according to CoinMarketCap historical data.

Interestingly, last month, Dogecoin co-founder Jackson Palmer had some harsh words about cryptos, calling them “an inherently right-wing, hyper-capitalistic technology built primarily to amplify the wealth of its proponents through a combination of tax avoidance, diminished regulatory oversight and artificially enforced scarcity,” in a Twitter rant at the time. Palmer added that he will wholeheartedly not “return to cryptocurrency.”

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See: Comparing Dogecoin, Baby Doge and Shiba Inu: Is There One To Watch?
Find: The 10 Worst Performing Cryptocurrencies of the Last Year

Palmer slammed everything about the industry, from the lack of regulation to the “cult-like,” get-rich-quick schemes and bought influencers, as well as the “powerful cartel of wealthy figures” who control it.

It doesn’t align with my politics or belief system, and I don’t have the energy to try and discuss that with those unwilling to engage in a grounded conversation,” he tweeted at the time.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a former full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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