Tax prep firm H&R Block sues Jack Dorsey’s Block for trademark infringement
In context: Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s Fintech company Block only recently acquired its new name after being known as “Square” for over a decade. Though the name change attracted a bit of confusion due to how sudden it was, the company is planning to stick to its guns and continue operating its subsidiaries (including Cash App and Zesty) as normal.
Or, at least, it is attempting to do so. Tax preparation assistance firm H&R Block is none too pleased with Block’s new name, and it has already launched a trademark infringement lawsuit against the company. According to the Wall Street Journal, the suit alleges that Block’s new look could threaten the brand that H&R Block has carefully built over the past 66 years.
Indeed, H&R Block attorneys reportedly went so far as to say the goodwill it has fostered over the years is “under attack” by Block.
More specifically, H&R Block feels Block’s new name and logo are “nearly identical” to its own branding. While you could certainly make that argument for the company names, especially since both are working in the financial sector, it’s much harder to do the same for the logos. They are completely different in appearance, and it seems strange for anyone to say otherwise.
Square’s new name and logo.
H&R Block’s logo is a simple green square, sometimes (but not always) shown with the company name inside it. By contrast, Block’s logo isn’t even a square at all. In fact, we aren’t quite sure what shape it is, but it certainly isn’t green. It instead features a chromatic, almost psychedelic color scheme which is a far cry from the flat colors you typically see in corporate logos.
That said, it isn’t up to any of us to decide which company is in the right here. H&R Block doesn’t technically have a trademark for “Block,” but the WSJ says the company feels its other trademarks such as Blockworks, Block Advisors, and, of course, H&R Block, cover it in this case. We’ll have to wait and see whether a judge or jury agrees, assuming this suit even gets that far.