Bitcoin Magazine has received a cease-and-desist letter from the United States Federal Reserve for allegedly infringing on its trademark. The Fed claims that the publication’s use of the word “FedNow” on its merchandise, such as t-shirts and hats, is a violation of the Federal Reserve’s trademark for its instant payment system.
The U.S. Federal Reserve is threatening to sue Bitcoin Magazine, alleging apparel that parodies its FedNow system is not protected speech, but copyright infringement. @markgoodw_in with Bitcoin Magazine’s response: [link to the article]
The merchandise in question features the word “FedNow” with an image of an eye replacing the “O”. Bitcoin Magazine argues that these items are parodic in nature and are intended for political criticism targeting the Federal Reserve.
Bitcoin Magazine’s legal team has rebutted the Fed’s claims, stating that the merchandise is protected free speech under the First Amendment. They argue that the eye symbol is a form of political criticism, representing the “all-seeing eye” that symbolizes total financial surveillance which the Federal Reserve is perceived to impose on the American financial system.
The term “all-seeing eye,” or the “Eye of Providence,” refers to a symbol found in Jacopo Pontormo’s 1525 painting, Supper at Emmaus, and later featured on the back side of a U.S. one-dollar bill.
Bitcoin Magazine has expressed its intention to continue selling its “FedNow” merchandise, asserting its belief that the items constitute protected free speech under the First Amendment.
The Federal Reserve’s FedNow, launched in July, has been the subject of criticism by Bitcoin Magazine, with claims that it allows the government to maintain control over businesses and individuals. The criticisms extend to allegations that FedNow is a “scam.”
Additionally, presidential candidates Ron Desantis and Robert Kennedy Jr. have criticized FedNow, alleging that it is laying the groundwork for a future central bank digital currency, which they argue will violate Americans’ privacy. The Federal Reserve has refuted these claims, denying that FedNow has any connection to a central bank digital currency.
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