It appears our prediction {that a} Lord of the Rings-themed “JRR Token” cryptocurrency was destined for the fires of Mount Doom was correct — the World Mental Property Group (or WIPO) has declared that it violated a trademark belonging to the property of writer J.R.R. Tolkien, and ordered that one of many challenge’s net domains be transferred to that property (through the Financial Times).

When you’re unfamiliar with JRR Token (not Tolkien), right here’s the lore — it was a cryptocurrency challenge that drew heavy inspiration from The Lord of the Rings. Its tagline was “The One Token That Rules Them All,” its web site featured Tolkien-esque imagery of rolling hills and wizards, and there was even a promotional video that includes an actor from the flicks making Hobbit puns and claiming that the token was going “to the moon.” It promised a bunch of economic options referred to as “Tokenomics,” the precise particulars of which had been left annoyingly unclear by its (Lord of the Rings-themed) white paper and web site.

As many, many individuals predicted, all this didn’t sit properly with the famously litigious Tolkien Property — it filed a complaint with WIPO on August seventh, the day after the tokens went on sale. The property claimed that the challenge’s website,, violated its logos, and supplied paragraphs of detailed explanations about how the web site was infringing on The Lord of the Rings. Truthfully, although, you’ll be able to in all probability get the gist by just looking at a web archive or screenshot of it.

When you look carefully, you’ll be able to see delicate references to Lord of the Rings.
Through: The Wayback Machine

(Be aware: the challenge additionally had one other website, — primarily based on Wayback Machine archives, the 2 websites seem to have had the identical content material, however solely the previous is talked about in WIPO’s writeup. Neither website comprises details about the token anymore.)

In its protection, attorneys for the token tried to argue that folks wouldn’t confuse JRR Token with JRR Tolkien as a result of the “L” and “I” in Tolkien are “conspicuously absent” in Token, and the 2 phrases are pronounced otherwise. The response additionally reads, partly:

J R R TOLKIEN will not be confusingly much like JRR TOKEN. The previous is a surname used as a trademark and the latter is an English phrase which means a type of digital foreign money.

Surprisingly, the WIPO panel (to not be confused with the Council of Elrond), wasn’t satisfied by these arguments, or by those saying it was meant to be a parody — it mentioned in its decision that the area identify was registered “in bad faith,” and that it “was selected for the sole purpose of creating a false association with” writer J.R.R. Tolkien. All of the Lord of the Rings references and imagery on the token’s web site didn’t assist the challenge’s case both, in keeping with WIPO, nor did the truth that it was a industrial enterprise.

The panel additionally mentioned that the developer’s alternate rationalization that the “JRR” in “JRR Token” truly stood for “Journey through Risk to Reward” was in all probability bogus, provided that the phrase didn’t appear to be used on the location. In its personal phrases:

It isn’t clear to the Panel what “Journey through Risk to Reward” truly means, and why the time period “journey” is related to the acquisition of tokens.

“There is no doubt that the Respondent was aware of Tolkien’s works and created a website to trade off the fame of these works,” reads a part of the WIPO’s resolution.

According to The Guardian, the Tolkien property is now working to “delete any infringing online content” — and certainly the token’s Twitter account, YouTube channel, and web sites seem like gone. To misquote The Fellowship of the Ring’s opening scene: one after the other, JRR Token’s websites and social media accounts fell to the facility of worldwide copyright regulation.

However, as they are saying, there have been some that resisted.

Like The One Ring in Tolkien’s story, the token has survived after a trend — within the type of an OpenSea collection. In fact there are JRR Token NFTs, and in the event you thought the principle challenge was blatantly biting LotR simply wait till you feast your eyes on these (akin to how Gollum disgustingly feasts on a stay fish in that one scene I nonetheless hate watching).

This can be the final haven for JRR Token’s on-line presence.

I too love to assert that the dangerous guys of LotR had been pro-centralization, after which make all my NFTs depict the villains of the story.

Curiously, the NFTs weren’t talked about within the WIPO’s case write-up, although the timeline might provide some perception into that. As beforehand famous, the Tolkien property filed its grievance in early August, and the NFTs weren’t marketed on JRR Token’s web site till someday between August thirty first and September eleventh, in keeping with captures by the Wayback Machine.

Wanting on the blockchain provides us much more exact timing — OpenSea shows that the NFTs had been minted on August thirty first, and had been both listed on the market or transferred to different accounts on September 1st. That’s, by the way in which, is the very same day the WIPO’s report says that JRR Token filed its response to the grievance. I pray that sometime I’m granted the arrogance (however not the audacity) of the one that creates NFTs with characters from Lord of the Rings whereas preventing an infringement grievance from the Tolkien property.

I’m unsure what’s going to find yourself occurring to the JRR Token NFTs, although I don’t think about the Tolkien property might be pleased if it finds out about them. As for the remainder of the challenge — if I’m sincere, that is just about precisely what I anticipated to occur. The Eye of Sauron could also be ever watchful, however the eye of The Tolkien Property is much more so — and no mere token may be anticipated to withstand the powers of the WIPO.


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