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These Two Meme Coins Served With Cease-and-Desist Notices

2 mins
Updated by Geraint Price
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In Brief

  • Law firm served an on-chain legal notice claiming breach of copyright.
  • The community is bullish on the NFT use case.
  • Will this set a precedent for legal notice against DeFi, meme coins and NFT projects?
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The owners of the Grumpy Cat and Nyan Cat trademarks have served cease-and-desist notices on meme coins bearing the same names through an on-chain transaction.

Most meme coin projects and non-fungible tokens (NFT) projects have anonymous identities, and can only be identified through a wallet address.

As there is no specific medium to serve anonymous projects with legal notices, the law firm, Kia Kamran, took the unusual step of serving Grumpy Cat Coin and Nyan Meme Coin with a legal warning on-chain. 

The firm transferred the lawsuit as an NFT to the deployer address of the Grumpy Cat and Nyan meme coins.

A screenshot of legal notice served to Nayn meme coin as an NFT
Source: Etherscan

The lawsuit claims that Grumpy Cat Limited owns the trademark for the Grumpy Cat meme, while Nyanify Inc. owns the trademark for the Nyan meme.

A large number of meme projects have taken inspiration from certain viral memes. Would they face copyright infringement claims in the future?

Community Bullish on NFT Utilization

Some NFT enthusiasts see it as a perfect use-case of the technology. A Twitter user wrote, “That’s epic. I’m proud to be a pioneer and witness this perfect utilization of NFTs.” Another user wrote, “Law firms are now being on-boarded into crypto, bullish.”

However, a legal counsel believes it would be hard to prove whether the projects reviewed the cease-and-desist orders. He says:

 “Waiting for some higher courts to confirm such a service is sufficient! I assume they also sent the C&D to the host of the site and maybe even twitter? That way they’ll have a bigger chance at reaching the person behind it.”

Lastly, on-chain sleuth ZachXBT claims that the identity of the deployers could be doxxed as the addresses were funded by centralized exchanges.

Some are speculating if the procedure could set a standard for legal actions against decentralized finance (DeFi) and NFT projects. 

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Harsh Notariya
Harsh Notariya is a journalist at BeInCrypto, who writes about various topics, including decentralized physical infrastructure networks (DePIN), tokenization, crypto airdrops, decentralized finance (DeFi), meme coins, and altcoins. Before joining BeInCrypto, he was a community consultant at Totality Corp, specializing in the metaverse and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Additionally, Harsh was a blockchain content writer and researcher at Financial Funda, where he created educational reports on...
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