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Oracle Sues CryptoOracle, Claims Trademark Violation

CryptoOracle, a New York City-based blockchain-focused VC startup, has nothing to do with the Redwood Shores, Calif.-based technology giant. Oracle, which also sells blockchain services, says the name is intended to create the impression it does.

 

Oracle, the Redwood City, Calif.-based technology giant, on Thursday asked a federal court to order CryptoOracle, a New York blockchain-focused venture capital startup, to get another name.

Oracle filed a lawsuit against Crypto Oracle LLC and Louis Kerner, its owner and managing partner, alleging trademark infringement and cybersquatting in the Northern District of California.

The complaint claims the New York City-based startup intentionally chose the brand name CryptoOracle "to trade on Oracle's reputation as an innovator and leader within the technology industry, and to evoke among consumers the goodwill that Oracle has built in its own famous brand."

[Related: Oracle Says New Blockchain Platform Can Bring In More Profits For Channel Partners]

Neither Oracle nor CryptoOracle has replied to a request for comment from CRN.

On its website, CryptoOracle describes itself as "helping build, grow and engage decentralized communities."

The equity investment firm, founded in 2017, says it also advises blockchain businesses and entrepreneurs. It is known for promoting CryptoMondays, an ongoing series of educational events and meetups that take place in cities around the world.

Lerner, on his LinkedIn page, writes CryptoMondays are the largest crypto-themed meetups in the world.

Viewers of CNBC or attendees of Bitcoin conferences may recognize Lerner, a one-time Goldman Sachs equity analyst who's been a partner at several investment firms and led some technology businesses, according to the LinkedIn page.

The CryptoOracle brand was featured prominently in one CNBC interview Lerner did recently, provoking the ire of one of the world's largest and most-powerful software companies.

Oracle offers its own cloud-based blockchain services through its Oracle Blockchain Platform. It also hosts confabs and educational events, most notably its OpenWorld conference.

Beyond the confusion generated by its name, Oracle sees no problem with what CryptoOracle is doing.

"While Oracle would otherwise welcome some of defendants’ endeavors, including events aimed at fostering a community around innovative and curious blockchain-enthusiasts, Oracle cannot tolerate the use of its famous trademark to brand defendants’ business," the complaint reads.

Oracle previously tried to resolve the dispute without going to court, it said.

A cease-and-desist letter was met by Kerner sending back an application he filed to trademark the CryptoOracle name.

Oracle now is citing both federal and California law in asking a federal judge to order the startup to withdraw that trademark application, stop using its name and remove the branding from all web domains that reference it.

Oracle's attorneys also said the company is entitled to recover the startup's profits.

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