Marvel mulls legal action versus Black Panther-derived ‘Wacoinda’

Marvel Characters, a subsidiary of comic book giant Marvel Comics, is still considering whether it will file a trademark lawsuit against Wilsondom LLC over its planned cryptocurrency, the ‘Wacoinda.’

The coin is referencing to the fictional African country in Marvel’s 2018 box-office hit movie, ‘Black Panther.’

Last August 7, Marvel, through its legal counsel, requested for an extension of time, which was granted, in which to decide if it were to push through with an opposition against Kentucky-based Wilsondom LLC, registered as a financial- and education-services company. Aside from plans to issue the cryptocurrency named ‘Wacoinda,’ Wilsondom also wants to conduct educational services such as live and online classes as well provide educational speakers in the field of cryptocurrency.

The ‘Wacoinda’ trademark was filed last February 27. According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, trademark infringement is “the unauthorized use of a trademark or service mark on or in connection with goods and/or services in a manner that is likely to cause confusion, deception, or mistake about the source of the goods and/or services.”

If it pursues a case, Marvel would have to show not just a significant degree of similarity between the marks concerned, but “whether the parties’ goods and/or services are sufficiently related that consumers are likely to assume (mistakenly) that they come from a common source.”

As the popularity of cryptocurrencies rises, related trademark lawsuits have become more common. Last May, message-servicing app Telegram sued Lantah LLC over its use of the word ‘gram’ for its issuance of a cryptocurrency. Telegram had previously been reported to have already raised $1.7 billion for the development of its cryptocurrency to be called ‘gram.’ And last April, Chinese retail giant Alibaba filed suit against developers of Alibabacoin, but this was dismissed for their lack of jurisdiction in the United States.

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