Tron Foundation partner sought U.S. trademarks but Disney pushed back and won

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last month rejected three trademark applications sought in connection with the cryptocurrency platform Tron after American media giant Disney filed notices of opposition and argued that approval would lead to brand confusion.

Tron Foundation’s China partner Raybo Technology first filed its requests to trademark “TRON,” “TRONNETWORK,” and “TRONIX in February 2018. When Disney pushed back with formal filings in August, Raybo Technology failed to respond, and the USPTO found in favor of Disney.

Thus, Raybo's applications were rendered abandoned in the first weeks of November. Crypto outlet Decrypt first reported the news Friday.

In its notices of opposition, Disney contended that the proposed trademarks would infringe on the corporation’s long history of using and licensing its film series of the same name. Indeed, Disney has built a whole franchise around its 1982 film TRON, including a sequel movie, an animated TV series, video games, musical recordings as well as a line of merchandise.

Disney highlights the fact that the Tron Foundation has chosen to present its name in all capital letters, which is highly similar to Disney’s own TRON marks. This move shows “bad faith” on Tron Foundation’s part, the notice says, and will likely confuse Disney’s long-standing customer base. 

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