After fighting for the “Gram” token trademark in court for two years, Telegram will now have to pay a Florida company $625,000 following its decision to drop the lawsuit. The encrypted messaging company dropped the lawsuit after it ended its blockchain project earlier this year.
Telegram first sued Lantah, LLC in May 2018, claiming common law trademark infringement and unfair competition over the Gram >token trademark. Lantah, a company founded in 2017 to issue Gram digital currency, fought back. It claimed to have been formed months before Telegram announced its intention to issue the Gram token. This gave it priority over the Gram trademark, it argued.
As CoinGeek reported in August, Telegram abandoned its legal battle with the small Florida company after dropping its TON blockchain project. It filed to drop the lawsuit without prejudice, allowing it to possibly drag Lantah to court again in the future.
In its latest ruling, the Northern District of California court has ordered Telegram to pay $618,240 in attorney fees incurred by Lantah over the course of the trademark case. It must also pay Lantah an additional $6,737.35 for extra costs.
Lantah had requested the court to charge Telegram $1.6 million for the attorney fees. The company claimed that its lawyers deserved to get $900 per hour because of the novel issues in the case. However, Judge Charles Breyer granted $600 per hour, stating that Lantah was unable to justify its claim for the higher rate.
Telegram has 30 days to submit its records of fees and costs along with proposals not exceeding ten pages.
The judgment brings to an end the Telegram blockchain project in its entirety. The project attracted $1.7 billion in two separate sales of its Gram token in 2018. A year later, the SEC cracked down on the company, accusing it of conducting an unregistered digital token offering. After a fierce legal battle, Telegram abandoned its Gram token and settled with the SEC for $18.5 million.
See also: CoinGeek Live presentation on Intellectual Property & Blockchain
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