Reddit’s Battle for the WallStreetBets Trademark has Begun
The stock market and hedge funds recently had a rough week thanks to the WallStreetBets Reddit community. Members of the group were able to drive up GameStop shares to historic levels. Hedge funds lost billions of dollars while some retail investors cashed in. It appears Reddit is also trying to cash in, though, by filing for a WallStreetBets trademark.
Reddit Files WallStreetBets Trademark Application
When Reddit members of the WallStreetBets community took notice of GameStop stock, so did the rest of the world. This led to over 177 million shares being traded for three consecutive days, and it drove a 52-week low of $2.57 per share to over $480 per share. The price has since plummeted back down to earth, but this doesn’t mean value is gone for everyone.
On February 8, Reddit, Inc. filed three separate trademark registrations for the name “WallStreetBets.” Each of these were for service marks to be used for entertainment services, telecommunication services, and social networking. If they secure the trademark for the name, they can profit from it for years to come. Details of the trademark filings are available online.
Trademark Dispute Over Reddit’s WallStreetBets
The story of WallStreetBets captivated the world, and there are already some movie deals in place. Reddit’s filing for the trademark, however, isn’t the first time someone has sought ownership of WallStreetBets. Back in March 2020 – long before the GameStop fiasco occurred – Jaime Rogozinski sought to trademark the name.
Rogozinski is the original founder of the WallStreetBets community. Of course, the community itself exists on Reddit’s platform. This explains why the social media network has filed a Trademark Opposition against Rogozinski. The opposition was filed back in August 2020, though, again long before the group made headlines.
What we do see in the opposition filing, though, is that legal maneuvering picked back up when the community name went viral. Additionally, Rogozinski and Reddit aren’t the only ones trying to get a piece of a WallStreetBets trademark. Applications were also filed by Next Computer Inc and Pilling Intellectual Property, LLC once the community gained international fame.
What Happens Next?
The astronomical increase in GameStop share value turned normal people into millionaires overnight. Thanks to the quick movie deal and sustained media coverage of the event, it appears as if there’s plenty more cash to milk from this situation. The question on everyone’s mind now is “who owns WallStreetBets?” The answer will have to play out before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
While the retail investor’s community may exist on Reddit, this doesn’t necessarily mean they own the trademark. If the founder of the group can show trademark use in commerce prior to Reddit’s, he might have a strong case against the social platform.