Unauthorized JRR Token cryptocurrency ordered to halt by author’s estate
By Bob Garcia
The cryptocurrency may have survived if had requested access to the IP
Legal action taken by the heirs of the late fantasy author made it possible for a cryptocurrency inspired by JRR Tolkien’s work to have been blocked. Now, this cryptocurrency backed by Billy Boyd is not in operation due to the measures taken by the author’s estate.
“Saruman was trying to unify Middle Earth under centralized rule, whereas the fellowship wanted decentralization. Cryptocurrency is literally a decentralized network,” the organizers tweeted confusingly before deleting the message.
The Tolkien heirs simply did not sit idly by and took immediate legal action by going to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). They argued that the cryptocurrency infringed trademark rights over Tolkien’s name. In addition, they also alleged that the domain name of JRR Token’s website, the now-defunct jrrtoken.com, was “specifically designed to deceive Internet users into believing that it and the website it resolves to have some legitimate commercial connection.”
The developer of the cryptocurrency came to his defense by responding that the name was actually intended to give the digital currency a unique representation, and not to take Tolkien’s name as a reference. “The introductory header on the website homepage ‘One Token That Rules them All,’ referencing the famous phrase ‘One ring to rule them all […] produces a humorous difference in order to invoke the desired effect of a parody,” he said.
Tolkien appears to have received the support of the WIPO arbitrator, and thus was now able to recover the domain name and explicitly prevented the developer from using that name as a method of operation. In addition, it is reported that the developer also had to cover the legal costs of ownership.