Sat. Nov 27th, 2021

The estate of JRR Tolkien, the author of The Lord of the Rings, successfully conquered a crypto-currency that styled itself as “The One Token That Rules Them All”.

The JRR Token cryptocurrency was launched in August, with a website featuring rings, hobbit holes and a wizard with an incredible deal with Gandalf.

But the Tolkien Estate, which handles the rights to JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings fantasy novels, quickly stepped in to lodge a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the global forum for intellectual property policy.

It noted that the cryptocurrency’s website domain name infringes its trademarks. Tolkien’s novels were made in a trilogy of Hollywood films, directed by Peter Jackson and starring Ian McKellen.

In response, attorneys for Matthew Jensen, JRR Token’s Florida-based developer, said that “token” is a generic term, should not be confused with that of Tolkien, and does not infringe on any intellectual property.

But the WIPO administrative panel decision concluded that there is no doubt that the developer was aware of Tolkien’s works and created a website to exchange the fame of these works.

The Tolkien Estate said it had now regained the domain name and acquired the developer’s business to stop all operations under the JRR Token name and remove any infringing content from all relevant websites and social media accounts sweep.

Steven Maier, a lawyer at the law firm Maier Blackburn who acted for the JRR Tolkien estate, said it was a “particularly blatant case of infringement” and added that the estate was “vigilant” in preventing unauthorized parties from benefiting from the JRR Tolkien name.

In the past, the Tolkien Estate has sued tourism and merchandise companies for using the author’s name and literary works, but this is the first time it has acted against a cryptocurrency.

Johnson Dalal, the U.S. law firm representing Jensen, was contacted for comment, but had not yet responded at the time of publication.

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