The Blockchain company was deceived by one of its co-founders and now owns expired patents.
Blockchain payment service provider Rocketfuel Blockchain is suing one of its co-founders for allegedly misrepresenting the validity of company patents and thus defrauding the company.
In an indictment filed in the California District Court, Rocketfuel alleges that co-founder Joseph Page hid the fact that the patents he assigned to the company had already expired. As a result, the payment service provider is seeking $5.1 million in damages.
According to Rocketfuel, Page transferred patents to the company in March 2018, which effectively extinguished his claim to them. The patents related to various payment services processed through Rocketfuel’s block chain, including a user interface for crypto-currencies.
In June 2018, B4MC Gold Mines acquired the block chain company Rocketfuel, and Page indicated that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) was still reviewing the patents at that time. Page and other shareholders sold their shares in Rocketfuel, whereupon he received five million shares in the acquired company, which was the equivalent of $45 million.
A year later, Page resigned from the board of Rocketfuel. At the same time, he called on the company’s shareholders to raise €4 million of investment capital to develop the technologies described in the patents or, failing that, to pay him €100,000 and reassign the intellectual property in the patents.
However, Rocketfuel replied that the patents had already expired and that the company could not renew them. Three of the five patents are said to have already expired between 2014 and 2017.
According to the payment service provider, Page admitted that the Bitcpoin Era patents had all expired in June 2019, but argued that this was because Rocketfuel had not raised the necessary capital to implement the technologies described in the patents. The company also alleges that Page intentionally allowed the patents to expire.
Rocketfuel states that if it had known that it could no longer use the patents, the acquisition would never have taken place. According to the company, Page transferred the patents to Rocketfuel in exchange for shares in the company, even though it knew that the patents were worthless at the time.
No court date has yet been set for a trial.