Debevoise Wins Broad Preliminary Injunctions in Cryptocurrency Trademark Infringement Case

26 July 2022

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has secured a victory for Diamond Hands Consulting (DHC) in the Southern District of New York on July 20 when Judge Ronnie Abrams granted DHC’s motions for preliminary injunctions against all defendants in a bench ruling after hearing oral argument.

DHC operates the authentic “SatoshiStreetBets” forums across a variety of social media platforms and websites, where cryptocurrency enthusiasts can gather to discuss tokens, platforms, and projects.  DHC created the SatoshiStreetBets brand in February 2020, and its forums became famous with the rise of “meme coins” like Dogecoin in early 2021, garnering extensive press attention as the go-to source of cryptocurrency news.  Right around the same time – a year after DHC’s first use of its trademark – three co-conspirators from New York, Wisconsin, and North Carolina began a competing series of forums using the exact same name, and two defendants ultimately launched an infringing “SatoshiStreetBets” cryptocurrency under the moniker $SSB.

After extensive briefing and argument over a series of months, Judge Ronnie Abrams issued preliminary injunctions against all three defendants on July 20, finding that DHC had established a likelihood of success on the merits as to its claims and specifically holding that DHC’s rights in the SatoshiStreetBets brand for providing cryptocurrency information services extended to block the defendant’s use of that mark for a cryptocurrency token. Judge Abrams found that DHC had established consistent and longstanding use in commerce of the SatoshiStreetBets trademark prior to any of the defendants (even though one of the defendants had been the first to apply for that trademark in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office), and had provided evidence of actual consumer confusion. 

In addition to enjoining defendants’ use of SatoshiStreetBets and $SSB, Judge Abrams also ordered the defendants to turn over all of their infringing social media accounts for the duration of the litigation, and declined to require any bond. 

The Debevoise team was led by IP litigation chair David Bernstein and counsel Chris Ford and included associates Kate Saba, Anna Rennich and Natalia Remis. The motions were argued by David Bernstein and Kate Saba.