J.R.R. Tolkien's Estate Has Vanquished The Lord of the Rings-Themed Cryptocurrency

Elijah Wood stars as Frodo in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001).
Elijah Wood stars as Frodo in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001). / © 2001 - New Line Productions, Inc.

The estate of J.R.R. Tolkien does not mess around. They’ve been known to go after tourism and merchandise companies who reference The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings without explicit permission, and just vanquished a newly launched cryptocurrency called JRR Token, which did business at JRRToken.com.

If the reference wasn’t already obvious, JRR Token styled itself as “The One Token That Rules Them All.” According to the Financial Times, the Tolkien estate lodged a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which found that the developer was “aware of Tolkien’s works and created a website to trade off the fame of these works.” The folks behind JRR Token argued that token was a generic term and couldn’t possibly be confused with Tolkien, nor were they infringing on any intellectual property with their name, but WIPO wasn't buying it.

The Tolkien estate has now recovered the JRRToken.com domain name, which goes nowhere. The developer will stop all operations under the JRR Token name and delete any infringing content from its social media accounts. The lawyer for the Tolkien estate said this was a “particularly flagrant case of infringement.”

If you’d like to watch something the Tolkien estate has approved, Amazon is working on a wildly expensive The Lord of the Rings series, which is set during the Second Age of Middle-earth and due out next September.