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Thursday, June 7, 2012

BitTorrent Will Sue Over Trademark Theft

The California-based company will sue some German entity for stealing its trademark. BitTorrent Inc. has filed complaint, saying that the German company has registered as BitTorrent Marketing GmbH and launched a few file-sharing services named bitorrent.com, bittorrnet.net, and bitorrent.net. Everything was done without the consent from the original BitTorrent company.

According to the complaint, the German company has adopted the BitTorrent trademark in order to capitalize on the renown and success of original BitTorrent Inc. The lawsuit was filed a week ago in San Francisco, saying nothing about the success of BitTorrent Inc. and how the website gained popularity. Instead, the complaint mentioned that the website provided an alternative to slower methods of distributing information. The papers also say that the service is used by many people in the US and all over the world to find, share, and move digital content.

Eight years ago, only a couple years after Bram Cohen started BitTorrent, someone from that German company asked him about developing a relationship with the BitTorrent product and sought his permission to register the bittorrent.de domain in their country. Although Bram Cohen refused, the mysterious person still went along with his plan and registered BitTorrent’s trademark.

Moreover, the bogus BitTorrent has also made attempts to stop the original BitTorrent Inc. from getting a trademark with the Office for Harmonization of the Internal Market, The EU’s trademark body. Nevertheless, the complaint said that the company didn’t exactly steal the product. For instance, after paying more than $50 to sign up for ultimate-downloadscenter.com, American users will be redirected to 3rd party websites of other digital content providers, including Netflix.com and Hulu.com.

The lawsuit says that the BitTorrent Marketing’s plan is to force American consumers into singing up with them. In addition, the original BitTorrent points out that this isn’t their first attempt to do so, because that company is known for trying similar schemes against other file-sharing firms like Kazaa and Morpheus. Let’s see how the courts will decide the issue between the two torrent services.

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