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UK COURT GRANTS PERMISSION FOR BITCOIN COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT CLAIM

Updated: Jul 9, 2021

London 22 April 2021 – London’s High Court this week granted permission for litigation law firm ONTIER LLP to serve legal proceedings for copyright infringement against ‘Cøbra’, the pseudonymous operator and publisher of the bitcoin.org website on behalf of their client, Bitcoin’s creator, Dr Craig Wright.


The bitcoin.org website, which promotes the digital asset referred to as ‘Bitcoin Core’, is hosting and publishing a copy of Dr Wright’s academic White Paper “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”, without Dr Wright’s consent. Dr Wright owns the copyright to the White Paper, which he authored and first released in October 2008 under the now-famous moniker ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’.


ONTIER, on Dr Wright’s behalf, had previously written to ‘Cøbra’, informing them that they were infringing Dr Wright’s copyright and requesting that they remove the White Paper from the website. ‘Cøbra’, whose real name remains unknown, has refused to comply with this request.


Proceedings were issued on 24 February 2021 in the Intellectual Property List of the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales. On 21 April 2021, Dr Wright was granted permission to serve ‘Cøbra’ out of the jurisdiction. Dr Wright is seeking a declaration that he owns the copyright in the Bitcoin White Paper, which ‘Cøbra’ is infringing.


It is not Dr Wright’s intention to silence or intimidate anyone, merely to protect his inherent rights to his own intellectual property. Similarly, Dr Wright does not wish to restrict access to his White Paper but does not agree that it should be used by supporters and developers of alternative assets, such as Bitcoin Core, to promote or otherwise misrepresent those assets as being Bitcoin given that they do not support or align with the vision for Bitcoin as he set out in his White Paper.


Dr Wright is being advised by ONTIER’s Head of Litigation, Paul Ferguson, with Partner, Derek Stinson, and Senior Associate, Simon Cohen. Alastair Wilson QC and Michael Hicks of Hogarth Chambers are instructed as Counsel.


ENDS


Press Enquiries:


PR Advisers to ONTIER LLP - Bell Yard Communications: +44 207 936 2021 | BellYard@Bell-Yard.com

Melanie Riley | melanie@bell-yard.com | Mob: 07775 591244

Louise Beeson | louise@bell-yard.com | Mob: 07768 956997

Sarah Peters | sarah@bell-yard.com | Mob: 07977 997927


Notes to Editors:


This litigation is the latest in a series of legal claims issued by ONTIER LLP on behalf of Dr Wright and his associated entities to uphold his right to protect his lawfully-held digital assets and his reputation as the creator of Bitcoin and his associated intellectual property.


ONTIER LLP is a law firm which specialises in international commercial disputes and transactions.


The firm is increasingly recognised for its high-profile and market leading Bitcoin related and cybercrime litigation and has an established and growing practice for recovering lost, stolen and hacked Bitcoin. Recently, ONTIER LLP launched a landmark claim against the developers of BTC, BCH, BCH ABC and BSV to restore control to addresses containing Bitcoin and other digital assets with a current value in excess of £3.5 billion. The firm recently acted in successful English High Court proceedings against Reliantco Investments Ltd, a digital asset and securities exchange which blocked and seized a substantial amount from a client’s trading account. ONTIER LLP was able to

recover the client’s full investment, its unrealised gains and loss of profit (that the client would have earned from intended investments had its funds not been unlawfully withheld).


The firm has offices in 18 cities in 13 countries, giving a truly international capability.

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