Chinese E-commerce Giant Alibaba Files Lawsuit Against Alibabacoin Over Trademark

ICO News, News | April 4, 2018 By:

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has filed a trademark lawsuit against Alibabacoin Foundation, a Dubai-based firm that raised over US $3.5 million through its initial coin offering (ICO).

In a complaint filed in US District Court in Manhattan on Monday, Alibaba said the foundation’s prominent, repeated, and intentionally misleading” use of its trademarks is designed to confuse consumers to think its products are affiliated with or endorsed by the Chinese e-commerce giant.

The lawyers of the Chinese online retailer said that rather than build independent value in their brand and the products and services they offer, Alibabacoin and its founders have engaged in a willful and concerted campaign to cause the public to believe falsely that Alibaba is the source of their products and services, or that such products and services are endorsed or sponsored by, or otherwise associated or affiliated with, Alibaba.

Alibaba said that it has repeatedly stated that “it is not interested in moving into the cryptocurrency space.” Confusion over its role has spread through media, however, and Alibabacoin has “done nothing to combat or correct this confusion.” Alibaba accuses Alibabacoin of “single-minded focus to capitalize on plaintiff’s reputation for success” by benefiting from its trademarks “without alteration, in countless instances,” to raise capital from the sale of cryptocurrency.

Alibabacoin Foundation has promoted the ICO of ABBC, a technology optimized for distribution, finance, shopping, and security using blockchain. In a March 26 press release, Alibabacoin said that it had no “particular correlation, affiliate, agreement, partnership, nor any contract whatsoever with Alibaba.com.”  The organization explained it was legally approved in Dubai and Belarus and rejects any claims that the foundation is a scam looking to profit from the name of the Chinese online retailer.

US District Judge Kimba Wood issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) and set April 11 as the date on which Alibabacoin must explain why it should be allowed to use this name with impunity. The lawsuit seeks to prevent further violations and compensate Alibaba for alleged infringements of US and New York State laws.