Insurance Giant Allianz Attacks Startup’s Trademark Registration

EU-based FinTech startup ORCA Alliance faces some unforeseen issues while registering its trademark at the EU trademark registry system EUIPO after the world’s largest insurance company Allianz has surprisingly attempted to block its registration.

The insurance firm claimed that the trademark “ORCA Alliance” is closely identical to its trademark “ALLIANZ,” and thus requires the startup to cancel its application and never use the word “alliance” again.

“This opposition was quite a surprise for ‘ORCA Alliance.’ We can only guess why ‘Allianz, S.E.’ has decided to do this. Most probably such action is dictated by the corporation’s intention to launch their own token. However, after receiving the feedback and considering support from our community we’ve decided to proceed with trademark registration. I hope that ‘Allianz’ will take the opportunity to withdraw the opposition since there is an obvious and significant difference between our brands,” ORCA Alliance founder and CEO Natan Avidan said.

The owners of the earlier registered trademarks commonly fill oppositions against new applicants if they find their trademarks confusingly identical to the registered ones. The similarity may be based on the fact that comparable trademarks have the same words, logos, pronunciations, colors, and owners registered them for the similar products or services.

So far, the EUIPO have 510 registered trademarks containing the word “alliance,” 36 of which are registered under the similar financial service category as Allianz, S.E.

ORCA Alliance filed a request for trademark registration in EUIPO on April 24, and Allianz, S.E. submitted an opposition letter on the registration on August 2.

ORCA Alliance consulted its community to determine people’s opinion on the situation. The answers mostly state that Allianz, S.E. do not have the right to own the word “alliance” for all financial services trademarks.

Someone asserted that ORCA Alliance is facing power play from a giant corporation that is interested in the blockchain. Allianz, S.E. recently revealed its plan to issue its so-called Allianz token,” which is designed to send funds worldwide without the high conversion costs.

The parties were given a “cooling-off” period until October 22, 2018 to reach an agreement. If ever, the proceedings will start and a final decision will be declared on July 1, 2019.

The ORCA Alliance platform seeks to facilitate the mainstream adoption of the cryptocurrency economy and integrate it with the existing financial system led by government-issued currencies. ORCA means “Open & Regulated Cryptocurrency Adoption.”