It seems that the losing streak around Libra is endless as recent weeks have been quite pessimistic for this project. Not only have several members decided to leave the association, but also Facebook will have to face another problem, this time regarding a trademark.
It turns out that the Calibra's logo, a subsidiary of a social media giant, is almost identical to the trademark that has been used by the mobile banking application, Current, since 2016. This similarity was noticed in June, when Facebook announced the planned date of the start of its project. Stuart Sopp, the CEO of Current, strongly criticized the actions of the social media giant then, claiming that he wanted to build up trust in consumers in his own financial system at the expense of another fintech brand.
"Facebook has all the money and resources in the world. If they truly wanted to make banking more inclusive and fair, they should’ve come up with their own ideas and branding, like we have."
- adds Stuart Sopp.
On Thursday (i.e. 10.10.2019), Current filed a lawsuit against Facebook, explaining that the Calibry trademark, by being almost identical, could mislead users. What is interesting, is that both logos were designed by the same branding company from San Francisco. Hence the similarity. There is no doubt that these signs could have been created by various design teams, they were created with a time interval of up to three years, after all. Nevertheless, such glaring similarities should not occur among companies in the same industry, and, as it is known, both of them revolve among digital financial ventures. Moreover, not only the same shapes were used, but also a similar color palette.
It is undoubtedly a significant blow to Facebook. The Libra project has faced many obstacles from the beginning, especially from regulators. Not so long ago, five companies related to payment services withdrew from the consortium. These include: PayPal, eBay, Stripe, Visa and MasterCard. Three of them received letters from American senators urging them to consider the risks connected to this project. There is a possibility that this was the main stimulus that contributed to this sudden decision.
It is also worth reminding that Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, has recently received a summons to appear at the hearing before the US Congress. Although the title of the conversation was: "Facebook’s broad impact on the financial services and housing industries" it is highly likely that Libra case will also be discussed during its duration.