Jack Dorsey’s Block Inc Initiates Legal Action against Bitcoin.com for Trademark Infringement

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by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read
Jack Dorsey’s Block Inc Initiates Legal Action against Bitcoin.com for Trademark Infringement
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Block Inc has sued Bitcoin.com for using the trademarked word “Verse” for its native tokens and not removing it despite repeated warnings.

Jack Dorsey‘s digital payments company Block Inc has decided to pursue legal action against Bitcoin.com over allegations of trademark infringement. This basically involves Block’s newly launched Verse token that raised $33.6 million in a private sale earlier this year in May 2022.

Lawyers representing Block Inc. have sent a letter to Bitcoin.com CEO Dennis Jarvis and the company’s legal counsel Joseph Collement. Block Inc. claims that the use of “Verse” by Bitcoin.com is a violation of their trademark as per the German trademark law. Dated August 4, 2022, the letter is a follow-up to a July 4, 2022 notice.

Back then, Block’s legal counsel – Bird & Bird – laid out their first infringement case in Germany. Back in 2020, Block acquired Verse Technologies Inc. and Decentralized Global Payments S.L. The portfolio of Verse and Decentralised includes a peer-to-peer payments app under the name “VERSE”.

Block’s legal counsel has argued that the “VERSE” app is available in Europe and Germany, on both Android and Apple platforms. The letter details Block’s right over a figurative mark containing the words “Verse” as well as “VERSE” with priority for computer and application software for mobile devices. The letter concludes:

“The use of the designation “VERSE” constitutes an infringement of our client’s trademarks under German trademark law. Our client therefore has claims against you to cease and desist from the infringing acts. Furthermore, our client has claims for information about the scope of the infringing acts as well as claims for compensation for all damages that our client has incurred or will incur as a result of the infringement. Finally, our client is also entitled to reimbursement of the costs incurred by us in connection with this letter.”

Here’s What Block’s Legal Counsel Wants

During its revised letter in August, the Block’s legal counsel had asked Bitcoin.com to sign a declaration of discontinuance and undertaking by Aug. 17, 2022. However, failing to do so has led to legal action against Block.com.

Furthermore, Block had requested that Bitcoin.com “cease and desist” its Verse token operations in the EU or face a contractual penalty of $10,400 (€10,000) “for each case of contravention”. Additionally, Block has also requested the reimbursement of its legal fees of $3,906.54 (€3,744.50).

The Verse token at the center of the dispute has been advertised on Bitcoin.com’s Twitter page. Its creators describe “Verse” as a “cross-chain token” focused on expanding into low-fee Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) chains.

Popular Bitcoin investor Roger Ver is the owner of Bitcoin.com. The platform acts as a digital asset exchange as well as a wallet provider. Roger Ver is popular in the crypto space for his strong support of Bitcoin Cash, the first altcoin forked out of the Bitcoin mainnet in 2017.

Jack Dorsey and Roger Ver have been involved in personal disputes even in the past. Back in 2019, Ver accused Dorsey of supporting Lightning Network citing his alleged romantic involvement with Lightning Labs CEO Elizabeth Stark. Many say that the personal issues between them were also the reason that Dorsey never verified Bitcoin.com on Twitter when he was the CEO.

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Bhushan Akolkar

Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair in understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In free time he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explore his culinary skills.

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