Payment software company Square changed its name to Block its month. Now H&R Block is suing them

Originally published at: Payment software company Square changed its name to Block its month. Now H&R Block is suing them. | Boing Boing


IANAL or a fan of H&R Block (or really any of these companies) but I think they have a point that this is potential encroachment on a service sector they are already established in.

On the other hand, Apple successfully defended (or settled?) their Apple Music service brand name despite promising Apple Records a long time ago that they would never, ever, ever use the Apple name in the music media service arena.

(Also, “Block,” what a stupid name.)


capitalism being capitalism

seriously. did i sleep last night all the way to april 1st?




I know Facebook became Meta to 1) wash its image and 2) expand its scope, but what’s with Square → Block? Why throw away the positive branding they’ve worked up to a name that’s equally vague and not related to what they do? Sounds like waste of money to me.


This isn’t just a bad decision.

This is such a monumentally bad, idiotic, stupid decision that it makes me seriously concerned about the governance and control structures within the organization.

We have two options here: either their legal team was so completely and utterly incompetent that they never considered that their new name would infringe on the H&R Block trademark and trade dress, which has been in use for over 65 years… which would mean that they have no effective controls to prevent them from doing anything illegal…

Or no one listened to the people from legal who pointed out how monumentally stupid this was. Which would mean that they have no effective controls to prevent them from doing anything illegal.

I mean, this isn’t a minor change that someone did without thinking. This shows a monumental breakdown in the control and compliance structure of the organization. And for a financial company, that control and compliance structure IS EVERYTHING.

And yes, I get it. Square > Block. Should have tried “Cube” to see if that wasn’t already taken.



I currently log in to my account at SQUAREUP dot com
Does this mean it will change to BLOCKUP dot com?

And that Jack Dorsey is behind it didn’t?


You know, it’s interesting that these metaverse techbros aren’t at all confident that they can make a successful business that doesn’t beat you over the head with a name that tells you what the company does.

It’s as though every car manufacturer in the early 1900s felt compelled to rename themselves “Car” or “Drive Me.”



No kidding! “Square” has both an established brand recognition and a secondary meaning that implies a successful transaction (“we’re all square now, thanks!”) whereas “Block” has a secondary meaning that implies an interrupted transaction (“your purchase has been blocked”).



That makes me wonder if the Kochs are behind this litigation.


They should just immediately go back to being Square, or if they want to be that bold, since SquareSpace is apparently already taken, go for Square_ [Underscore is silent]

They could have skipped a dimension and gone straight to hypercube.

Both. They later cases of Apple Corps were decided in favour of Apple Computer, but afterwards there seems to have been another settlement clearing the issue permanently. Rumor says 500 million bucks.

1 Like

I guess when your market cap is 2 and a half trillion dollars you can afford something like that.

1 Like

If rumors are true. But it’s a huge business for Apple and Apple Corps basically sued them whenever thy added a new system sound.

1 Like