Ripple is facing a lawsuit from New Payments Platform Australia (NPPA). It is believed that the suit alleges intellectual property infringement concerning the branding of Ripple’s PayID payment standard.
Recently, it was noticed that the enterprise blockchain company Ripple has filed a pair of strange trademarks applications for the names “Ripplex” (and “RIPPLEX”) and “Ripple Impact.” The San Francisco-based company submitted both applications this month and it is allegedly “awaiting examination,” according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
During this month, Ripple also filed a trademark application for “ripplenet,” the already well-known name of its global payments network. All three trademarks are written in lower-case letters. Overall, the company has filed for nine trademarks only this year.
One of those applications may have even become a legal feud. In June, Ripple filed an application to trademark “PAYID” for its new universal payments of the same name.
Problems with Trademarks for Ripple
Ripple is now confronting a trademark intellectual property lawsuit in the Federal Court of Australia from NPP Australia, a company that manages a payment infrastructure between financial institutions. However, even though there is no much public information available about the lawsuit, NPP Australia’s addressing service is also known as “PayID.” What we know is that the suit was filed on August 20th, and the next hearing is scheduled for August 26th.
According to technology journalist Rohan Pearce who reported on the lawsuit, it seems the problem is in spacing. NPPA secured the trademark rights for ‘Pay ID’ (with a space) in March 2017, in addition to filing for the trademark for ‘PayID’ (without a space) in October 2017. However, the application for ‘PayID’ lapsed in April 2018 and no trademark was registered.
Ripple Labs filed for two ‘PayID’ trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on June 17, 2020. NPPA filed another application for the same trademark in Australia on July 24, 2020. Ripple is leading a coalition of more than 40 companies that launched PayID, a platform-agnostic payments network that allows users to send and receive money instantly.
However, this, unfortunately, isn’t the only law problem the company has.
Lawyers for Ripple’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse haven’t argued the Ripple CEO’s statements in extolling XRP were true, simply that they can’t be proven false.
Just for the reminder, recently the federal case against Ripple Labs has taken an unexpected turn, as the legal team representing both the firm and Garlinghouse have argued any statements they made overstating the utility of the XRP token can’t be proven false.
Investors Can’t Prove Ripple Knew XRP Had ‘No Utility’
According to court filings, lawyers have argued plaintiff and XRP investor Bradley Sostack is unable to prove that Ripple wronged investors with bullish claims about XRP and sold the token as an unregistered security. The legal team called Sostack’s statements as “unsupported leaps of logic.”
Lawyers for Sostack used the argument that “XRP has no utility at all,” something Ripple’s legal team says should have been raised in the initial lawsuit against the firm.
The original case against the crypto firm started in August last year, when attorneys for Sostack filed a class-action lawsuit against Ripple, alleging that it had sold its XRP token as an unregistered security.
The case was altered in March to include a complaint accusing Garlinghouse of touting XRP to prospective investors while silently liquidating 67 million tokens from his holdings. The suit stated that Ripple consciously emphasized the cryptocurrency’s actual use as a “bridge currency” to facilitate international payments.
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