Rocketfuel Blockchain co-founder sued by firm over expired patents. Rocketfuel Blockchain, a blockchain payment company, is suing its co-founder for allegedly misrepresenting patent applications and defrauding the business.
Rocketfuel alleged that its co-founder and former treasurer, Joseph Page, obscured the fact that the patents he passed to the company had expired in a lawsuit filed with the Central District Court of California. The corporation is seeking at least $5.1 million in damages.
In March 2018, according to Rocketfuel, Page transferred patent applications to the company, thus relinquishing its patent rights. These patents were for various payment methods, including cryptocurrency user interface systems, for the blockchain network of Rocketfuel.
Rocketfuel was purchased by B4MC Gold Mines in June 2018. As B4MC took over the company and began doing business as Rocketfuel, Page said that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) was investigating the patents. Page and other shareholders sold their Rocketfuel shares and received approximately $45 million worth of the newly purchased company’s five million shares.
Page withdrew from the board a year later. He asked Rocketfuel’s shareholders to raise EUR 4 million in capital to improve or pay EUR 100 000 for the technology mentioned in the patents and pass the intellectual property back to him.
However, the patent applications had expired, Rocketfuel claimed, and the company could no longer revive them. Between 2014 and 2017, three of the five patents now held by Rocketfuel were deemed abandoned.
The firm said Page acknowledged that the patents expired in June 2019, but said that this was due to the failure of Rocketfuel to collect capital to use the technology. The company said, however, that Page allowed the patents to expire because he refused to pay additional filing fees and did not respond to other requests from the PTO.
Rocketfuel said it would never have gone ahead with the acquisition if it had known it couldn’t use the patents. They alleged Page assigned the patents to Rocketfuel, and sought shares of stock in exchange, despite knowing these patents no longer had value for the firm.