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Jury orders Craig Wright, the self-proclaimed Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto, to pay US$100 million in intellectual property theft

Craig Wright after the Miami court verdict (image: TMX/Vimeo)
Craig Wright after the Miami court verdict (image: TMX/Vimeo)
The verdict in the Kleiman v. Wright lawsuit, sometimes called the "Satoshi Nakamoto trial," is in, and Mr. Wright has to pay US$100 million in intellectual property damages to the plaintiff. Filed by the heirs of the deceased David Kleiman, the lawsuit aimed to prove that the alleged Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto was a collective of Mr. Kleiman and Mr. Wright hence they are entitled to their fair share of the 1.1 million bitcoins their undertaking mined. None of those bitcoins had to be accessed during the trial, as the focus was on the intellectual property of the joint venture, so the verdict couldn't definitively solve the Satoshi Nakamoto conundrum.

The verdict is in for the lawsuit between two alleged Bitcoin platform founders, Craig Wright and Dave Kleiman, and the jury awarded $100 million to the estate of the deceased Mr. Kleiman. The so-called "Satoshi Nakamoto trial" that media hoped would reveal the true identity of the mysterious creator of the Bitcoin protocol, was actually a fight over the intellectual property in a partnership between Craig Wright and Dave Kleiman called W&K Info Defense Research. The undertaking of the two computer scientists was set to hash out the idea of a blockchain-based ledger and resulted in one of the first ever mined bitcoins. The Miami lawsuit, filed by Mr. Kleiman's brother on his behalf, argued that Mr. Wright was only a co-inventor of the Bitcoin platform in the partnership, hence they are entitled to the more than a million bitcoins that have been sloshing in wallets ever since.

While the jury couldn't deliberately prove those claims based on the ambiguous emails and other communication between the two alleged Bitcoin founders, it did find Craig Wright guilty of intellectual property theft from the venture, and ruled he has to pay $100 million in damages to whoever owns W&K Info Defense. Unfortunately, that is also in dispute at the moment, with the plaintiff Ira Kleiman, Dave Kleiman’s brother, but also Craig Wright’s wife Ramona Watts, as well as his ex-wife Lynn Wright, all claiming to be the rightful owners of the partnership that may or may not have invented the Bitcoin technology as we know it. Both parties in the lawsuit declared victory over the jury verdict. Mr. Kleiman's attorneys put out a statement saying that they "are immensely gratified that our client, W&K Information Defense Research LLC, has won $100,000,000 reflecting that Craig Wright wrongfully took bitcoin-related assets from W&K."

Craig Wright's lawyer Andres Rivero, on the other hand, announced that the verdict was "one of the most resounding victories ever in American litigation." "We had crushed them," he added, while his client somehow made the conclusion that the result of the lawsuit proved unequivocally that he has been behind the Satoshi Nakamoto avatar all this time. "The jury has obviously found that I am because there would have been no award otherwise. And I am," he commented after the verdict. His lawyer elaborated on the claim further, even though none of the 1.1 million early bitcoins have been accessed to prove it as a result of the lawsuit, and the whole focus was on the intellectual property sharing:

The decision reached by the jury today reinforces what we already knew to be the truth: Dr. Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto, the sole creator of Bitcoin and block chain technology.

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Bloomberg (paywall)

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 12 > Jury orders Craig Wright, the self-proclaimed Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto, to pay US$100 million in intellectual property theft
Daniel Zlatev, 2021-12- 9 (Update: 2021-12- 9)