Debevoise Defeats Motion to Dismiss in Cryptocurrency Trademark Infringement Case

23 June 2022

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP secured an important initial victory for Diamond Hands Consulting (DHC) by persuading a judge in the Southern District of New York to deny two defendants’ jurisdictional motion to dismiss in a bench ruling.

DHC operates the authentic “SatoshiStreetBets” forums across a variety of social media platforms and websites, where cryptocurrency enthusiasts gather to discuss cryptocurrency tokens, platforms, and projects. After a group of co-conspirators from New York, Wisconsin and North Carolina began a competing series of forums using the exact same name – ultimately even launching their own infringing “SatoshiStreetBets” cryptocurrency – DHC retained the firm to enforce its rights as the owner of the original, authentic SatoshiStreetBets brand.

DHC sought a preliminary injunction against all three defendants earlier this year, but the defendants from Wisconsin and North Carolina moved to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and improper venue. With the help of DHC, Debevoise unearthed evidence of New York purchasers of defendants’ infringing cryptocurrency and New York City-based activity on defendants’ infringing forums.

Following oral argument on Thursday, June 9, Judge Ronnie Abrams denied defendants’ motion to dismiss in full, ruling that the court had personal jurisdiction over both defendants and venue was proper in SDNY. Judge Abrams accepted all of Debevoise’s arguments about the significance of defendants’ transactions with New York consumers. With the motion to dismiss out of the way, Judge Abrams indicated that she would permit additional briefing on DHC’s pending motions for preliminary injunction against all three defendants and would rule on those motions in the coming weeks.

The Debevoise team is led by litigation partner David Bernstein and associate Christopher Ford and includes associates Kate Saba, Anna Rennich and Natalia Remis. The motion to dismiss was argued by Christopher Ford.