Dr Craig Wright, together with two of his associated companies, Wright International Investments Limited (WII) and Wright International Investments UK Limited (WIIUK), have filed and served a claim for infringement of database rights and copyright in the Bitcoin White Paper against all 26 individuals and entities involved in the promotion, development and use of Bitcoin Core (BTC).
The Claimants assert that the Defendants in this claim have been developing, promoting, funding, trading – and encouraging investors and consumers to trade and invest in – digital cash known as BTC (Bitcoin Core), whilst throughout infringing the Claimants’ intellectual property rights in both the White Paper and the Bitcoin Blockchain on which these digital assets are based.
Dr Wright devised the Bitcoin System and issued the White Paper under the pseudonym “Satoshi Nakamoto” on 31 October 2008. A number of the Defendants to these proceedings proposed significant changes to the Bitcoin System in 2016, which deviated from the protocols as set out in the Bitcoin White Paper. On 1 August 2017, the BTC Network was created without the authorisation of the Claimants.
By participating in the operation of the BTC Network, it is the Claimants’ case that the Defendants have infringed the Claimants’ Database right which subsists in the Bitcoin Blockchain and infringed Dr Wright’s copyright which subsists in the Bitcoin White Paper by copying Block 230,009 in the Bitcoin Blockchain whilst making copies of the BTC Blockchain.
According to Dr Wright, the only digital asset that implements the protocols as set out in the Bitcoin White Paper is “Bitcoin Satoshi Vision” (BSV).
The Claimants seek an injunction restraining the Defendants from continuing to develop and/or participate in the promotion of BTC. The Claimants also seek a declaration from the Court that database rights subsist in the Bitcoin Blockchain and that copyright subsists in the Bitcoin White Paper and that Dr Wright is the owner of it.
Damon Parker of Harcus Parker, leading this claim on behalf of the Claimants, said:
“At its heart, this litigation is straightforward, in so far as it represents a claim for breach of database rights and copyright in the White Paper.
“My clients simply assert their rights to the intellectual property underpinning Bitcoin. For the digital asset market to gain widespread credibility, users need confidence in a sustainable digital currency underpinned by enforceable laws and regulation. This claim, in parallel with other claims brought by my clients, may prove a step in the right direction.”
Issued on behalf of HARCUS PARKER by:
Bell Yard Communications BellYard@bell-yard.com +44 (0) 20 7936 2021
Louise Beeson Louise@bell-yard.com + 44 (0) 7768 956997
NOTES TO EDITORS
Dr Wright, WII and WIIUK are advised by Harcus Parker Partner, Damon Parker, alongside Associates, Olivier Altmeyer and Brad Pistorius.
If successful, the claim is likely to be worth several hundred billions of pounds when an inquiry into the full account of profits is undertaken by expert witnesses to the Court.
At a hearing on 3 February 2023, permission was granted by Mr Justice Mellor for the Claimants to serve the Defendants out of this jurisdiction, concurring there is an arguable case for the database claim. Defendants are known to be based in USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, The Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK. The Claimants are seeking permission to appeal a judgment of Mr Justice Mellor in which he declined to allow a claim in relation to copyright in the Bitcoin file format to proceed.
Bitcoin (BSV) is the fastest, most scalable environmentally-efficient and regulation-friendly public ledger that exists whilst remaining fixed to Dr Wright’s original protocol. Dr Wright is concerned to ensure that no other digital asset improperly advances itself on the basis of unauthorised use of his substantial intellectual creativity, skill and labour over decades.
Dr Wright was involuntarily outed as Satoshi Nakamoto by Wired magazine in December 2015. Since then, he has faced unprecedented levels of harassment and disparagement by those who have a vested interest in supporting BTC and BCH.
In response to this persistent and pervasive abuse both online and in print, Dr Wright has sought to uphold his and his associated entities’ rights to protect their intellectual property in the Bitcoin eco-system, as well as his reputation as the creator of Bitcoin.
As a result, there is a series of pending legal claims issued by lawyers across jurisdictions on behalf of Dr Wright and his associated entities which include:
- Tulip Trading Ltd, a trust beneficially owned by Dr Wright has been granted permission by the English Court of Appeal to bring an action against developers of the BTC network to restore the Trust’s access to Bitcoin stored in an encrypted private wallet that was stolen in a hack on Dr Wright’s computers in 2019.
- Dr Wright and companies owned by him last year issued passing off claims in the High Court against exchanges Kraken and Coinbase.
- Dr Wright is bringing a defence to the Crypto Open Patent Alliance’s (COPA) challenge to his authorship of the White Paper, which will be heard in the High Court in early 2024.
- In May 2023, the High Court in London will hear Dr Wright’s defamation claim against digital currency enthusiast, Mr Magnus Granath, in England.
- In September 2023, the Court of Appeal in Oslo will hear Dr Wright’s appeal of the November 2022 judgment that determined Mr Granath’s campaign of disparagement of Dr Wright through social media was not defamatory under Norwegian law.
- In 2022 the London High Court found that podcaster Peter McCormack had defamed Dr Wright – the costs awarded are currently being appealed.
- In 2021 Dr Wright, successfully brought a copyright claim against the anonymous digital currency enthusiast operating under the pseudonym “Cøbra”. Enforcement of this judgment is ongoing, with the court recently concurring with Dr Wright that no individual can take part in proceedings for detailed assessment of costs whilst declining to inform the court of their identity.
In addition, in December 2021 Dr Wright successfully defended a claim brought in Florida, USA, by Ira Kleiman, brother of Wright’s late friend Dave Kleiman, who predicated the claim on the fact that Dr Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto, but that Wright created Bitcoin with the help of Dave Kleiman. The jury rejected that allegation.
London, 14 March 2023
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