Facebook’s plan to brand its stablecoin project from Libra to Diem was met with legal threats from a small European startup of the same name.
Carpe ‚Diem‘: Lawsuit Threatens FacebookNOTÍCIAS‘ Redesign of Libra Brand
Facebook has been hit with legal action threats due to its plan to rename the Libra stablecoin project ‚Diem‘ by a financial application of the same name.
Facebook announced its plan to rename Libra on December 1, with the company claiming that the new name would help the re-named project move away from the intense regulatory pressure Libra faced when it was announced last year.
Diem co-founder and leading European fintech investor Chris Adelsbach told the media Sifted that although he was intimidated by the prospect of entering into a legal battle with Facebook, he received legal advice instructing him to protect his brand:
„It would not have taken so much effort for Facebook to discover that there was another Diem in financial services […] They obviously thought: ‚we can just crush them, we are Facebook'“.
In a statement, Diem CEO Geri Cupi said his company was „stunned“ to learn of the Libra Association’s intention to rename itself „Diem,“ adding:
„As a small startup, we are concerned that the customer confusion resulting from Libra’s actions will significantly affect our growth.
Diem executed its smooth launch in October and has since attracted half a million followers. The platform allows users to instantly sell their possessions online and offers debit cards, with Sifted describing the application as „a kind of digital pledge“.
Ripple recently faced a similar case from the New Payments Platform Australia, or NPPA, which alleged intellectual property violations arising from Ripple’s use of the „PayID“ brand to describe its Bitcoin Bank payment pattern, despite NPPA operating the „Pay ID“ payment network in Australia as of March 2017.
The case was resolved when Ripple registered a new trademark for „Paystring.
Facebook’s ambitions with its stablecoin also seem set for a legal confrontation with global regulators.
During a conference on 7 December between G7 ministers and central bank chiefs, German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz described the project as „a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Scholz stressed that German lawmakers „will not accept its entry into the market“ without Facebook showing that it has addressed the government’s regulatory concerns, he added:
„We must do everything possible to ensure that the monopoly of the currency remains in the hands of states.