Facebook’s Calibra Sued by Mobile Banking App Over Similar Logos

Facebook’s Calibra is being sued for trademark infringement by mobile banking app Current, adding a potential legal showdown to the beleaguered Libra digital currency project’s growing list of woes.

The complaint, filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleges that the Calibra logo is too similar to Current’s own, which the fintech firm has been using since August 2016. Calibra is developing the Libra project’s digital wallet.

Current is seeking a preliminary injunction and monetary damages. It alleges:

“The infringing mark adopted and used by the Calibra Defendants is not only confusingly similar to, but virtually identical to the Current Marks.”

Current is an alternative, app-based banking platform that in many respects shares Libra’s goal of opening up financial services to the masses. But while Current’s solution exists within the realms of traditional banking, Libra’s sprawling vision of a digital currency-powered future is far more radical.

As it happens, the logo designs have almost identical origin stories – both were created by San Francisco-based branding firm Character, a named defendant in the suit. It was unknown if the same Character team members worked on the accounts, as Character did not respond to requests for comment.

“It is suspicious that the defendant’s logo came out of the same firm that created the plaintiff’s logo,” Howard Shire, a partner in the intellectual property department of Pepper Hamilton LLP, told CoinDesk.

But Shire, speaking only as an observer, said there could be an explanation for that, perhaps in the contracts or communications passed between firms. Those answers could likely come during pre-trial discovery – though a trial is unlikely, given that Shire says 98 percent of civil cases are settled beforehand.

Current filed…

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