Rep. Maxine Waters has expressed significant concerns over Meta’s continued involvement in the digital asset sector.
In a detailed letter addressed to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Javier Olivan, the California Democrat, known for her critical stance on Meta’s previous cryptocurrency endeavors, particularly the Libra stablecoin project, has highlighted Meta’s filing of five trademark applications related to digital assets and blockchain technology.
“I write to express my concerns regarding Meta Platforms, Inc.’s (f/k/a Facebook, Inc.) filing status of five trademark applications related to various digital assets services and blockchain technology,” wrote Waters.
These applications, filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), suggest Meta’s potential expansion in the digital assets ecosystem.
“With its initial filings on March 18, 2022, Meta’s application submissions as of January 22 appear to represent a continued intention to expand the company’s involvement in the digital assets ecosystem,” wrote Waters.
Meta’s Five Application Filings
The applications include services related to online social networking and dating, which integrate financial trades and crypto exchanges. Additionally, they encompass the design and development of computer hardware and software services related to blockchain and various digital currencies.
The applications involve digital asset services, particularly in the domain of crypto trading, exchange services, and blockchain-based payment verification.
The filings also cover advertising services via electronic and virtual media, blockchain as a service for business advice in blockchain technology, and downloadable software for managing digital currency transactions.
“Despite these trademark applications, which indicate there are specific goods and services connected with digital asset work that Meta is doing,” wrote Waters. “Meta staff asserted on Oct. 12, 2023, in communications with Democratic Financial Services Committee (Committee) staff that there is no ongoing digital assets work at Meta.”
Waters Requests Details on Trademark Applications
Each of these applications, as per USPTO regulations, requires a Statement of Use or an Extension Request within six months of their Notice of Allowance issuance date, which Waters points out in the letter. The Representative made an inquiry about Meta’s relevant filing, including “restricting, limiting, or deleting goods and services” description to the applications.
As the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, Waters stated the Committee’s perspective, saying, “The trademark applications described above seem to indicate that Meta has not ceased its activity in digital assets since the shutdown of Diem.”
In addition, Waters requested answers to a series of questions “given the Committee’s ongoing concerns.” Primarily, Waters wondered if Meta intends to “pursue any projects related to web3, digital assets, or digital wallets,” and to file Statement of Use or an Extension Request for the applications.
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