H&R Block Files Trademark Infringement Lawsuit Against Block, Inc. (formerly Square, Inc.)
Block, Inc. seeks to confuse customers by misappropriating the Block brand name
If allowed to proceed, Block, Inc. would improperly capitalize on the goodwill and consumer trust cultivated by Block since 1955
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Dec. 16, 2021) – H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) (“Block”), a leader in tax preparation and other financial services, has filed a lawsuit against Block, Inc., formerly known as Square, Inc., seeking to enjoin the latter’s infringement of Block’s family of trademarks.
The goodwill and brand identity that Block has carefully cultivated and nurtured over the last 65 years is under attack by the Silicon Valley fintech company, which announced plans on December 1, 2021 to rebrand as Block, Inc. The newly named Block, Inc. competes directly with Block in several areas of financial services, including tax preparation through its recent purchase of Credit Karma Tax, now called Cash App Taxes.
Through many decades of hard work by its franchisees and associates, and billions of dollars invested in marketing, Block has built a valuable brand that has earned and maintained the trust and loyalty of millions of consumers. Rather than generating its own brand equity, Block, Inc. appears to be taking a shortcut to capitalize on the well-known Block moniker. This is a clear violation of Block’s trademark rights, which threatens to confuse consumers and cause harm.
“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,” said Jeff Jones, H&R Block President and CEO. “Protecting and defending our brand is crucial.”
Indeed, in the two weeks since the name change was announced, there already have been numerous indications that consumers are drawing a link between the companies due to Block, Inc.’s choice to co-opt the Block name.
The complaint has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. H&R Block is represented in this lawsuit by Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and Berkowitz Oliver LLP.
About H&R Block
H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) provides help and inspires confidence in its clients and communities everywhere through global tax preparation, financial products, and small-business solutions. The company blends digital innovation with the human expertise and care of its associates and franchisees as it helps people get the best outcome at tax time and better manage and access their money year-round. Through Block Advisors and Wave, the company helps small-business owners thrive with innovative products like Wave Money, a small-business banking and bookkeeping solution, and the only business bank account to manage bookkeeping automatically. For more information, visit H&R Block News or follow @HRBlockNews on Twitter.
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