The Libra Association, the project’s governing body, recently stated that it was renaming itself the Diem Association, Latin for “day,” in a bid to make a fresh start.
But per a report from Sifted, Facebook and friends may be forced into an embarrassing legal battle with the London based Diem platform, which lets small-scale buyers and sellers trade their belongings on the internet.
The media outlet quotes Geri Cupi, the founder and CEO of Diem, as stating,
“We were flabbergasted on December 1 to find that Facebook’s Libra Foundation had chosen to rebrand to Diem. […] As a small startup, we are concerned that customer confusion resulting from Libra’s actions will significantly impact our growth.”
Cue a legal battle, it would seem.
The media outlet also quotes a Diem investor named Chris Adelsbach as saying that legal experts have advised the fintech outfit to “protect Diem’s brand.” He added,
“We thought: Do we concede and just say ‘we’re a small company,’ or do we fight for what’s right? It wouldn’t have taken that much effort for Facebook to find out if there’s another Diem in financial services. They obviously took the view that ‘we can just crush them, we’re Facebook.’”
On Twitter, one observer pointed out that naming crypto projects does not seem to be Facebook’s strong suit – pointing out that what it changed its Calibra wallet brand to Novi, it apparently neglected to look into the fact that an Irish IT services company also goes by the same name. The poster added,
“Someone [at Facebook] needs to get better at Googling name choices.”
Meanwhile, Libra Shrugged: How Facebook Tried to Take Over the Money author David Gerard went a step further, opining that the latest apparent gaffe proved that people “need to be open to the possibility that Libra/whatever has always been a bad idea, implemented badly, by people who aren’t very good at any of this.”