Telegram drops two-year lawsuit over Gram trademark

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Telegram drops two-year lawsuit over Gram trademark

By Benson Toti - min read

Telegram’s dismissal of the lawsuit has occured after the company abandoned its Telegram Open Network (TON) project in May, before settling with the SEC in June

Telegram has voluntarily dropped its lawsuit against Lantah LLC over the use of the “GRAM” trademark for its cryptocurrency token with the same name.

The US District Judge, Charles Breyer, ruled that Telegram will have to pay attorney fees to Lantah for defending the lawsuit since 2018.

Since Lantah did not submit records that show the legal costs they incurred, the parties must now negotiate a reasonable sum before they reconvene with the court.

The judge dismissed the suit without prejudice to refiling, having rejected Lantah’s request for dismissal with prejudice. In short, this means that Telegram is allowed to continue making claims over the GRAM trademark in the future

While Telegram had previously announced its plans to fund the launch of a blockchain network through the sale of GRAM tokens towards the end of December 2017, Lantah had been set up in June 2017 and claimed that they had already planned on issuing a cryptocurrency called GRAM before Telegram.

Even though Lantah submitted an application for the GRAM trademark by 2018, Telegram decided to push through with taking legal action against the firm in May 2018 after the company raised $1.7 billion through a three-month offering of GRAM tokens.

Lantah filed their counterclaims in June 2018, arguing it had priority over the trademark. However, the court granted Telegram’s request for a preliminary injunction that would prevent Lantah from using the trademark, pointing out that Telegram had already been using it in a commercial context before Lantah.

These actions strongly suggest that Telegram has fully let go of its TON plans. In May, Pavel Durov, the CEO of Telegram, announced that their “active involvement” with the project was over and criticised US regulators for overextending their power.

In the same month, court documents dated May 22 showed that the company withdrew its appeal against a US federal court’s injunction that froze Gram token issuance and distribution.

Telegram’s TON is a blockchain platform that was announced in 2017. It aimed to facilitate payments through Gram tokens and hosting decentralized applications at high scalability levels. While it successfully raised almost $1.7 billion in two private token sale rounds in the following year, this also drew the attention of authorities.

The SEC proceeded to issue a lawsuit to the company in October 2019, accusing it of violating the law by holding an unregistered security sale.