A legal complaint has been filed in a case where e-commerce peer to peer platform Safex contends that its trademarks have been used by a smaller and less documented company called Safeth LTD.
Essentially, Safex is arguing that Safeth engaged in a massive campaign of disinformation using the Safex logo and brand on its own website, and elsewhere, and confusing investors about what these intangible assets actually are. Imagine googling “Safex token” and “Safex platinum token” and trying to ascertain backers!
This, Safex says, led to delisting, compromise of its social media accounts, and much more. The allegations include contentions that Safeth members disseminated materials comparing Safex to the infamous “Silk Road” operation shut down by law enforcement in 2014, which Safex views as a type of defamation.
A bombshell in part 17 of the complaint shows that the story started when the founder of Safeth, Joseph Lathus, was rejected in his bid to become a paid marketing consultant. In what looks like extortion, Safeth alleges that Lathus then retaliated with all sorts of unsavory campaigns, including the creation of his own firm’s “Safex Platinum Token” which clearly appropriates Safex brand language.
Despite the thinness of the challenger’s corporate website, and a scarcity of online documentation showing what Safeth LTD is about, there’s an internal release that showcases the cognitive dissonance involved in this case:
“It has come to our attention,” reads a Safeth blog post called Claiming our Brand, “that we as a corporation and (sic) in looking out for our investors and our brand Safeth LTD has decided to go after and assert our trademark over that in which is legally ours.”
That the reader is left to figure out, absent clarification, whether the writer meant “our brand Safeth LTD, (someone missing from copy) has decided to…” or whether the clause is supposed to mean that “in looking out for our investors and our brand, (an unidentified “we” has found that) Safeth LTD (as the nefarious external actor) has decided…” certainly confounds a proper understanding of what the writers are trying to communicate.
The incoherent and shoddy nature of the meat on Safeth’s web site only serves to enhance the Safex position in court, where the details will ultimately be decided. In the end, this case may become a warning to operators about how not to act in the market.