Xapo CEO Wences Casares Faces Court Case Over Intellectual Property Infringement

Wences Casares, the founder of Bitcoin company Xapo, is facing yet another lawsuit. Lifelock, a company focusing on Identity theft protection, filed the suit last Monday. According to Lifelock, both Casares and former Xapo CFO, Cynthia McAdam, withheld intellectual property and Bitcoin integration software for Lemon when it was acquired by Lifelock in 2013.

Company Acquisitions Can Get Nasty Real Fast

Everyone who does their homework on Wences Casares will know he used to run a fair few enterprises in the past. Lemon is one of those companies, which was one of his multiple ventures into the Bitcoin world. The company gained some traction and was officially acquired by Lifelock in the year 2013.

The agreement between all parties included transfers of the company, all of its intellectual property, and Bitcoin integration software. Lifelock now argues that those latter two requirements were not properly met when the acquisition was finalized. Moreover, the company feels Casares and McAdam were developing Xapo in the period when they were under the employ of Lifelock, which goes against their original contract.

It is not the first time Lifelock is filing a lawsuit against Wences Casares. They did a similar thing in 2015, which was eventually dismissed. This was later on followed up by Casares after a cross-complaint suit, which was also dismissed. There seems to be a lot of unresolved business between both parties, and these legal battles are far from over.

It is certainly intriguing how Casares announced the launch of Xapo very shortly after Lemon was purchased by Lifelock. He also announced US$20m in fresh venture capital, which raises some questions, given its timing. After all, Lemon was sold for US$42.6m just a few weeks prior. Launching a Bitcoin wallet in such a short timespan seems nearly impossible, which may indicate some truth to the allegations of developing Xapo while under contract by Lifelock.

More importantly, Lifelock decided to purchase Lemon for its intellectual digital wallet property. Since Xapo came out using nearly identical technology a few weeks after Lemon was acquired, there seems to be some conflict there. For now it remains to be seen how this new court case will play out, although a dismissal is not unlikely.

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