Macfarlanes secures important victory for Bitcoin developers in dispute over identity of Bitcoin inventor

15 March 2024

A team from Macfarlanes represented 13 individual software developers in defending claims brought by Dr Craig Wright – who claimed to be “Satoshi Nakamoto”, the pseudonymous inventor, in 2008, of Bitcoin.

The developers contributed to the Bitcoin software and protocols and Dr Wright said they had, thereby, infringed his IP rights. 

Mr Justice Mellor delivered his judgment on 20 May 2024 following the six-week trial in COPA v Wright. Mr Justice Mellor has now delivered an excoriating 1736 paragraph judgment, dissecting Wright’s claims one by one.

In a well-publicised decision, the High Court has resoundingly rejected Dr Craig Wright’s claim that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, the founder of Bitcoin. Mr Justice Mellor said that the evidence against Wright in the case was “overwhelming”.

The Macfarlanes team acting for the Bitcoin developers included partners Lois Horne and Christopher Charlton, and associates Chris Akka and Joe Gaffney. Alex Gunning KC of One Essex Court and Beth Collett of 8 New Square were engaged as counsel.

On the decision, Lois Horne comments: “On behalf of the Bitcoin community we are delighted with the outcome which reflects a long battle for the truth. It reflects many months of hard work and follows years of threats to members of the Bitcoin community We are extremely pleased the judge has reached this conclusion. The Bitcoin community will continue to develop and innovate and we are delighted to have secured this outcome for them to enable them to do so outside the shadow of litigation”.