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Rocketfuel drags co-founder to court over alleged patent fraud

Payment firm Rocketfuel Blockchain is accusing its co-founder of defrauding the company and misrepresenting patent applications.

The company filed the complaint in the Central District Court of California against Joseph Page, the co-founder and former treasurer of Rocketfuel Blockchain. In its complaint, the company is demanding at least $5.1 million for damages.

According to the company, Page transferred patent applications to Rocketfuel in March 2018. By doing so, Page gave up his rights to the patents, which were for some payment processes for the company’s blockchain platform, including digital currency user interface systems.

When B4MC Gold Mines acquired the payments firm in June 2018, Page allegedly told the company that the patents were being examined by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). As part of the acquisition, Page and other shareholders sold their shares in Rocketfuel—Page received 5 million shares of the newly acquired company, worth $45 million at the time.

Page resigned from the board in 2019. While resigning, he asked Rocketfuel shareholders to raise 4 million euros in capital to develop the technology described in the patent, or pay him 100,000 euros and also transfer the IP back to him.

However, Rocketfuel said that the patent applications had expired and could no longer be revived by the company. Of the five patents owned by Rocketfuel, three were considered abandoned from the 2014 to 2017 period.

According to the company, Page claimed the patents expired in June 2019. Not only that, he claimed that the expiration was due to the fact that Rocketfuel could not raise enough capital to use the technology. The company blamed Page for the expiration, stating that he neither responded to the PTO requests nor pay additional fees for filing.

Rocketfuel accused Page of assigning patents to the company and asking for shares of stock, knowing fully well that the patents had no value. The case has yet to receive a court date for trial.

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