Alibaba Loses Petition Against Dubai Based Cryptocurrency Firm ‘Alibabacoin’
A district judge in the United States of America has rejected Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s request to grant an injunction against Dubai based Alibabacoin for using a deceptive name. Judge Paul Oetken in Manhattan ruled that a lack of proper reasoning provided by Alibaba about how Alibabacoin was deceptive led to his ruling against the Chinese technology giant.
The verdict was announced April 30, 2018, in the Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. v. Alibabacoin Foundation, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 18-02897.
Court Rejects Alibaba Petition
The court explicitly said that the plaintiff failed to provide any concrete fact to announce a suspension of all activities of Alibabacoin. According to the judge, it would not matter even if Aibabacoin decided to list at any American exchanges in the future. Furthermore, any losses to the Alibaba Group would be mostly restricted to its native country China where most of its e-commerce business is based.
Judge Oetken also reversed a judgment passed by another judge on April 2 to impose temporary restraint on Alibabacoin.
The defendant claimed that it had no intention of using the Chinese technology giant’s reputation to promote itself, making the trademark infringement claims levied against it baseless.
Alibaba Claimed Infringement of its Trademarks
Alibaba Group first filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against Alibabacoin Foundation on April 02, 2018, alleging involvement in an unlawful scheme and using Alibaba’s brand name to raise $3.5 million from investors.
It was alleged that the defendant purposely aligned its own name to represent Alibaba Group’s venture into the cryptocurrency industry. NYSE-listed Alibaba Group stated in the complaint, “With a single minded focus to capitalize on plaintiff’s reputation for success, defendants constructed a ploy to use plaintiff’s trademarked name ‘ALIBABA.’”
Alibaba further claimed that Alibabacoin raised capital illegally and it made no clarification stating it was not related to Alibaba Group in its white paper or while promoting its coin offering.
Alibaba Ground of Claims
Alibaba Group approached the court of law citing a violation of its registered trademarks. It mentioned that it held several trademarks bearing registration number 2589009, 2829317 and 2579498. The Alibaba Group is the registered user of these trademarks and had been using them for a long time. The United States Patent and Trademark Office records show that the founder of Alibaba Jack Ma has exclusive rights over names such as ALIBABA and ALIBABA.COM.
In its original filing, the plaintiff cited a news article where the ABBC CEO said:
“Alibaba sees a better and more secure future with valuable blockchain solutions, hence Alibabacoin. The blockchain platform that Alibabacoin is built on promises to be the one blockchain technology that will emerge as the leading platform for digital assets in the world.”
In an interview given by Jason Daniel Paul Philip, ABBC Foundation refused to give a clear statement when asked whether he was related with Alibaba.com in any way or not. Jason said:
“I cannot tell you anything about this for now.”