Feb 15 (Reuters) – The founder of WallStreetBets, which has been credited with encouraging ignite investors’ frenzy into “meme” stocks, sued Reddit Inc on Wednesday, accusing it of wrongly banning him from moderating the community and undermining his trademark legal rights.
Jaime Rogozinski said his ouster, ostensibly for violating Reddit plan by “attempting to monetize a community,” was a pretext to continue to keep him from trying to management “a well-known brand name that helped Reddit increase to a $10 billion valuation” by late 2021.
In accordance to the grievance filed in federal court in Oakland, California, Rogozinski utilized to trademark “WallStreetBets” in March 2020, just one month just before his ouster, when the community reached 1 million subscribers.
Started in 2012, the community now has 13.6 million subscribers.
“If you create it, they will occur,” the criticism claimed, quoting from the 1989 film “Area of Desires. “Reddit’s desires, nevertheless, turned out to be Mr. Rogozinski’s nightmare as the business insists, ‘if you create it, we will acquire it from you.'”
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Reddit turned down Rogozinski’s statements.
“This is a wholly frivolous lawsuit with no basis in truth,” a spokeswoman stated. “Jamie was removed as a moderator of r/WallStreetBets by Reddit and banned by the community moderators for trying to enrich himself. This lawsuit is an additional transparent try to enrich himself.”
Rogozinski claimed he is a dual U.S.-Mexican citizen, and life in Mexico City.
He is looking for at the very least $1 million in damages for breach of deal and violations of his publicity legal rights, and a ban on Reddit’s use of WallStreetBets unless of course it reinstates him as senior moderator of the r/WallStreetBets subreddit.
Meme stocks normally obtain acceptance via conversations, typically amid inexperienced traders, in on the web community forums these as WallStreetBets and Twitter. The attractiveness normally potential customers to unstable inventory costs that do not reflect companies’ fundamentals or monetary wellness.
Outstanding examples of meme shares have bundled AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc (AMC.N), Mattress Tub & Further than Inc (BBBY.O), GameStop Corp (GME.N) and Koss Corp (KOSS.O).
The case is Rogozinski v Reddit Inc, U.S. District Courtroom, Northern District of California, No. 23-00686.
Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York Enhancing by Leslie Adler
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