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Someone on the #mtgox IRC channel pointed me to this. It seems to be an application by Tibanne Co. Ltd. for the Trademark name BITCOIN.

I asked MagicalTux on #mtgox about it, but got no answer.

Why is he doing this?

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Some countries have a strict first-to-file rule. In these countries, if some malicious entity tried to trademark the term 'Bitcoin' it could cause problems for others trying to use it to talk about the currency. Tibanne is trying to protect the community from this kind of nonsense. Source.

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    This is confirmed by the statement they have since made - mtgox.com/press_release_20111014.html – Meni Rosenfeld Oct 18 '11 at 20:57
  • oh yeah. And you believe that? Who says they don't leverage this trademark in the future. – user3715 Mar 30 '13 at 11:27

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