On July 25, Judge Mellor of the UK High Court released his ruling from a case management conference held last month regarding a key issue in several separate UK lawsuits: the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto.
Craig Wright is involved in several lawsuits in the UK alleging that multiple organizations and individuals in the crypto community violated his copyright of the Bitcoin whitepaper, Bitcoin database, and other intellectual property related to the creation of Bitcoin.
As Judge Mellor wrote in his ruling, all of these lawsuits—which includes the Database Rights case against, inter alia, 13 Bitcoin Core developers—hinge on the question of “whether Dr. Wright is/was Satoshi Nakamoto.”
In Tuesday’s ruling, Judge Mellor decided that this question will be resolved for all cases during a January 2024 trial. As Judge Mellor wrote in the ruling, the results of the January trial will determine whether the other cases will go forward:
“The parties to the latter three actions are all going to be bound by the outcome of the COPA trial. If the court decides that Dr. Wright was not Satoshi Nakamoto, those three actions end at that point. By contrast, if the court decides that Dr. Wright was Satoshi, then all three actions proceed in full.”
Rather than spend time and money needlessly arguing the same question about Wright’s claim to be Satoshi in several separate lawsuits, Judge Mellor decided that the question of whether Wright is Satoshi “should be decided once and once only.”
Given that Wright has failed to furnish any compelling evidence that he is Satoshi in the 7 years since he first made this claim, the Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund is optimistic that the ruling from the January 2024 trial will bring an early end to the database rights case.