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Alibabacoin Can Continue Using Name Despite E-Commerce Giant’s Objections, US Judge Rules

Bitcoin, Blockchain and the Law, News | May 2, 2018 By:

A US federal judge has ruled that the cryptocurrency Alibabacoin can continue using the name, despite the objection of the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

In his ruling, Judge Paul Oetken of the Southern District of New York denied Alibaba’s motion on jurisdictional grounds. Oetken said Alibaba Holdings Group failed to show that the use of the Alibabacoin name would hurt its business prospects in New York or infringe its trademarks in the state. Rather, the judge said any damage to Alibaba’s business or reputation from the use of the Alibaba name occurs in China. Thuss, the federal court has no jurisdiction.

Alibabacoin argued that the current Chinese ban on initial coin offerings eliminates any possibility that consumers in China will be confused and think that Alibabacoin is a product of the Alibaba Group.

Alibabacoin tweeted: “We firmly believe that Alibabacoin Foundation never acted illegally. Fair and square speaking, we strongly believe and trust the judge’s decision above all else.”

Alibaba Group sued Alibabacoin Foundation (ABBC) last month, claiming the foundation was using its well-established name to promote its own cryptocurrency. Alibabacoin Foundation countered by saying Alibaba Group cannot monopolize the “magical” Alibaba name.

“The legend of Alibaba conjures up thoughts of magic, gold coins, and ‘Open Sesame,’” the Alibabacoin Foundation claimed. “The ABBC entities are well within their rights to use a word connoting magic and golden coins in an area (Alibaba) has not used or, at the very least, has abandoned.”