Vice Media and Porn Cryptocurrency Company Headed to Court Over Trademark

Vice Industry Token is asking the court to evaluate whether it's infringing on Vice Media's trademark.
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Vice Industry Token, a porn cryptocurrency company, is taking Vice Media to court to clear up a dispute over the companies' trademarks.

Vice Media sent a cease-and-desist letter to the digital upstart in November, alleging its "Vice Industry Token" trademark infringes on its rights to "Vice," according to a complaint filed Friday in California federal court. 

VIT offers its proprietary cryptocurrency and also operates an adult entertainment platform, which, according to the complaint, are together designed to "change the nature and monetization of pornography."

Trademarks are issued to avoid consumer confusion. While Vice owns marks for its name across several categories — including clothing, audio equipment, restaurant services, magazines, mobile media, entertainment services and cigars — Bitcoin for porn doesn't appear to be one of the areas covered.

VIT is asking the court for a declaration that it has not infringed Vice's trademarks or other intellectual property rights. 

This isn't the first time Vice has fought over its trademark. Other opponents include indie band ViceVersa, a digital advertising company named Vici Media and Georgia-based Virtue Marketing. (Each matter eventually settled.)

A Vice spokesperson sent The Hollywood Reporter a statement Wednesday in response to the complaint: "We are confident in our trademark rights, and that the court will enforce our rights fully."

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