Facebook sued over copycat Calibra logo

Facebook logo for Calibra
[Image: Current]

It's not been a good few days for Facebook's new cryptocurrency, Libra. Not only have all but one of its payment partners dropped out of the project, but it's also just been slapped by a lawsuit over the logo design for its digital wallet, Calibra.

Current, a US-based startup bank, was quick to point out the similarities between the Calibra logo (basically a tilde in a circle) and its own logo (a more detailed tilde in a more colourful circle). The bank posted a cutting tweet last week of its logo next to Calibra's, with the comment: "This is what happens when you only have 1 crayon left." 

See more

It stated in June that that it was talking to a law firm to determine if it has a trademark or patent infringement case. And now it's followed through with a lawsuit alleging trademark infringement by not only Libra and Facebook, but also by Character, the San Francisco design firm that, by a staggering coincidence, created both logos.

There are three counts filed against all the defendants, including trademark infringement and unfair competition, plus three further counts against Facebook and another four against Character. Current is looking for punitive damages, plus an agreement that Facebook will stop using the Calibra logo. You can read the full, thrilling filing below.

Current is demanding a trial by jury for this case; whether it'll actually come to this, or the defendants decide to settle out of court, remains to be seen.

Honest mistake?

It's hard to deny that the logos are similar. The Current logo features a tilde in a circle, and the Calibra logo features, well... a tilde in a circle. There are, of course, differences including that the Current logo's circle is a gradient, while Calibra's logo is monochrome, hence the 'one crayon left' comment. 

So was this an honest mistake? 

That's where the plot thickens. Current's logo was designed by San Francisco design firm, Character. And Stuart Sopp, CEO of Current, told CNBC that Character also created the logo for Facebook's Calibra. The co-founder of Character also posted on LinkedIn about working on a secret crypto project with Facebook – the post has since been deleted.

"We put six months of hard work into this with that design firm, which they basically reused for Facebook without changing much," Sopp told CNBC. "Facebook is a big company that should have done their due diligence on this."

Will this copyright case have much impact on the social media giant and its plans for financial domination? We can't help but doubt it. Although one Twitter user has proposed an alternative logo, just in case Facebook is looking:

See more

Read more:

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Jim McCauley

Jim McCauley is a writer, performer and cat-wrangler who started writing professionally way back in 1995 on PC Format magazine, and has been covering technology-related subjects ever since, whether it's hardware, software or videogames. A chance call in 2005 led to Jim taking charge of Computer Arts' website and developing an interest in the world of graphic design, and eventually led to a move over to the freshly-launched Creative Bloq in 2012. Jim now works as a freelance writer for sites including Creative Bloq, T3 and PetsRadar, specialising in design, technology, wellness and cats, while doing the occasional pantomime and street performance in Bath and designing posters for a local drama group on the side.