Coinbase CTO Affirms The Crypto Company Will Not Trademark The Word “BUIDL”
Some rumors have surfaced recently affirming that Coinbase was considering trademarking the world “BUIDL”, which has been a popular term for building something on the blockchain. The term, which derives from a conscious misspelling of the world build, just like people use HODL instead of “hold”, has been used many times.
The term is, in fact, so famous that even people like Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance, the largest exchange in the world, has used it. He used it in the context that the best thing to do during a bear market is to keep BUIDLing.
On social media, people have even proposed that this new slang should replace HODL, affirming that BUIDL promotes a more positive outcome for all than HODL.
The rumors started after someone perceived an application for a trademark online listed as Coinbase Inc, a corporation from Delaware, in the United States. The company was described as the sole applicant for the world BUIDL.
After all the controversy, Balaji S. Srinivasan, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Coinbase Tweeted,
Saw the commotion on Twitter & dug into this. Coinbase filed the trademark for BUIDL some time back. I learned about it today & chatted with team. TLDR is that @brian_armstrong & I don’t believe in trademarks for stuff like this so we’ll be giving this one back to the community.
— Balaji S. Srinivasan (@balajis) December 6, 2018
He affirmed that they had no intention of preventing the community from using the term and that it was a “100% defensive filing” as the company simply did not want to attract patent trolls after they started the new product.
BUIDL Belongs To The Community Or Not?
The main issue here is that it is not obvious whether the company is meaning that “not trademarking” the word actually means not trademarking the word. The filing is still there. If it was a “defensive action”, the company will probably still keep it.
And the community can use without problems, ok. Who in the world would sue people for using your brand as an expression? Srinivasan has affirmed that he used the expression back in 2015, but this doesn’t mean a thing.
What it actually looks like is that Coinbase is trying to use a popular expression and it does not want other companies to do it. Despite this, copyright problems could emerge if someone else started to use the brand because trademarks work in a very ridiculous way.
In any case, we will soon be sure whether the company is giving up on the trademark and really leaving it to the community or not.