In what may be the hardest block of the most entertaining pun we’ve ever heard, JRR Tolkien’s estate has shut down a crypto-token called — wait for it — JRR Token.
The UK-based estate for the famed “Lord of the Rings” author filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization one day after the cryptocurrency went on sale, according to the BBC. Apparently, the lawyers took particular issue with the US-based startups’s use of the phrase, “organize the people towards a common goal of making JRR Token ‘The One Token That Rules Them All.’”
Let this be a warning to every crypto enthusiast out there who’s set on creating the next meme-worthy coin: How about a quick copyright search before you get smashed by a trademark suit?
The websites selling the currency, jrrtoken.com and thetokenofpower.com, featured images of hobbit holes and a Gandalf-like wizard. The former is currently down completely, while the latter is still up but has removed all its content.
“The Tolkien estate has a duty to protect the JRR Tolkien name and the contents of his much loved books,” estate solicitor Steven Maier told the BBC. “This was a particularly flagrant case of infringement, which sought to gain a financial benefit by associating the crypto-currency with the JRR Tolkien name and literary works.”
Of all the weird crypto schemes out there, perhaps we can sympathize with LOTR fans wanting to have their own token. Sadly this isn’t one that’s going to the Moon.
And there’s no magic eagles to rescue the creators from a Mount Doom of their own creation, either.