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  • Telegram will pay over $620,000 to the startup it tried to sue.
  • The company had to ditch its cryptocurrency plans and withdraw the lawsuit against Lantah.

Telegram Messenger Inc. will have to compensate the legal fees of about $625,000 to the US-based startup Lantah LLC, following the dispute regarding the use of the mark GRAM for a cryptocurrency.

The lost case against Lantah

In August 2020, Telegram voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit launched against Lantah in 2018, when the operator of the popular messenger planned to set up its blockchain platform Telegram Open Network (TON) along with its digital coin GRAM. 

The team accused Lantah of copyright infringement, false designation of origin and unfair competition, as well as having the desire to capitalize on selling tokens with a similar name. Meanwhile, the founders of Lantah insisted that they knew nothing about Telegram’s plans and publicity used the name GRAM long before the company announced the launch of the platform and the token sale. 

Telegram defeats all the battles

The legal dispute was held in the US District Court for the Northern District of California until the collapse of the TON project, caused by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation into Telegram’s ICO. The regulator accused the company of violating securities laws and selling unregistered securities.

In May 2020, Telegram’s founder Pavel Durov closed the project and ditched the plans to launch TON, citing the US regulators’ pressure and the court’s decision to ban GRAM sale. In August, he withdrew the lawsuit and agreed to pay the legal fees incurred by Lantah.

According to the court’s decision, the company will pay attorney fees to the tune of $618,240, this has been calculated based on the median market rate of $600 per hour, and a compensation of $6737.