June 10, 2015
LifeLock has sent a notice to five Xapo executives—including Founder and CEO Wences Casares—for breach of contract. LifeLock claims that Xapo was developed at Lemon, a company which LifeLock has acquired.
LifeLock claims that it has found evidence that the founder and CEO of Xapo (Wences Casares) along with four former executives of Lemon are using resources that have been developed in Lemon. Lemon was established in April, 2013 and in December, 2013, LifeLock—a $1.5-billion online security company—acquired Lemon for $42.5 million and rebranded it as LifeLock Wallet.
LifeLock issued a letter in 2014 to Wences Casares acknowledging that it does not hold any claim to bitcoin intellectual property and transferred all rights to Casares. Casares announced his resignation from his role on 6th March, 2014. After a week on 13th March, 2014, Xapo was launched. Thereafter, Xapo received a funding of $20 million from Benchmark, Ribbit Capital and Fortress Investment Group.
LifeLock said that it has not yet sued Xapo. The security company is now seeking damage from its former employees for the breach of contract and other wrongful conduct.
Neither Casares nor any Xapo employees have made any public statement about the lawsuit, but his attorney, Steven Ragland, provided the following statement to Bitcoin Magazine, This is a baseless lawsuit. LifeLock has no right to any bitcoin-related business or IP that Wences Casares or his colleagues may have worked on during their time at Lemon or after. As LifeLock’s President has attested in a legally binding document, LifeLock does not have any right, claim or interest to any bitcoin IP. LifeLock’s claims lack merit and we look forward to proving their allegations false.
Xapo is one of the fastest growing bitcoin companies; it has already raised $40 million from top venture capitalists. In addition, Former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and Visa Founder Dee Hock are on Xapo’s advisory board. It is expected that this lawsuit will hamper the reputation of the company. On the other hand, LifeLock—the company which has sent a legal notice to Xapo—also has a long history of getting sued.