Kanye West has launched a legal battle against the creators of an online currency called Coinye. The "College Dropout" rapper filed a trademark-infringement lawsuit in Manhattan Federal Court on Tuesday, January 14. West also seeks to stop companies and operators of Coinye exchanges from marketing the currency.
"Defendants have willfully and admittedly traded upon the goodwill and notoriety of Kanye West, one of the most famous entertainers and brand names in the world," read the suit, as quoted by New York Daily News. "In interviews with the press, defendants brazenly admit that they adopted the marks Coinye West, Coinye and Coye to directly associate their newly minted crypto-currency with Mr. West."
According to the documents, the new online currency damaged West's brand. "With each day that passes, Mr. West's reputation is irreparably harmed. ... Consumers are likely to mistakenly believe that Mr. West is the source of these digital coins," the suit continued. The online currency previously used a cartoon image of West wearing big shades. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.
The developers, who launched the currency on January 7, apparently have decided to stop the Coinye project. "COINYE IS DEAD. You win, Kanye," read a message on its site when accessed on Tuesday.