H&R Block Files Trademark Infringement Suit Against Block, Inc.
Earlier this month, the former Square, Inc. announced that it would be changing its name to Block, Inc. In their press release, the company stated that the move was intended to give the Square small business seller platform back its name as the rest of the organization continues to diversify its efforts. Additionally, they noted that the name “has many associated meanings for the company — building blocks, neighborhood blocks and their local businesses, communities coming together at block parties full of music, a blockchain, a section of code, and obstacles to overcome.” Speaking to that lattermost point, the name change has now yielded some legal action as tax prep giant H&R Block has filed a trademark infringement suit against the new Block, Inc.
H&R Block filed its suit on December 16th and posted the full complaint on its website. The document not only goes through some of H&R Block’s various trademarks and slogans — including its “Block Has Your Back” campaign — but also highlights ways in which confusion between the two companies could come into play. For one, they note that both Block and H&R Block are in the financial services industry.
Furthermore, they also point out that Square’s acquisition of Credit Karma Tax (which will now be known as Cash App Tax) means that the two companies are directly competing in the same space. Elsewhere, the lawsuit even cites a tweet from a Square employee where they joke about people previously thinking they worked for video game company Square Enix but would now assume they worked for H&R Block.
The tax prep company also blasted the company formerly known as Square in a press release, writing, “The goodwill and brand identity that [H&R] Block has carefully cultivated and nurtured over the last 65 years is under attack by the Silicon Valley fintech company.” Additionally, commenting on the suit, H&R Block President Jeff Jones stated, “Today’s filing is an important effort to prevent consumer confusion and ensure a competitor cannot leverage the reputation and trust we have built over more than six decades. Protecting and defending our brand is crucial.”
Once again, Square’s name change is showing parallels to Facebook’s shift to Meta as the latter company also drew lawsuits as a result of their new moniker. In that case, Chicago-based Meta Company was quick to file against the social media behemoth. As for Block, Inc., it will be interesting to see how this suit plays out seeing as H&R Block is a much more well-known entity than Meta Company. Could yet another name change be coming in the future? Stay tuned.