Grocery Chain Trader Joe’s Files Lawsuit Against Crypto Platform Trader Joe Over Use of Brand Name

News | October 11, 2023 By:

On October 5, 2023, Trader Joe’s Company filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against cryptocurrency platform Trader Joe and its parent companies Joemart Ltd and SOJ Trading Ltd, as well as company co-founder Cheng Chieh Liu. The lawsuit alleges federal trademark infringement, dilution, cybersquatting, and other claims.

Trader Joe’s, the national grocery store chain founded in 1967, owns several trademarks related to its brand name, including the registrations for “TRADER JOE’S” and “TRADER JOES.” According to the complaint, Trader Joe’s sent cease-and-desist letters to Trader Joe in September 2021 and January 2022 demanding they stop using the “Trader Joe” name and any similar trademarks, but Trader Joe continued to operate and expand its platform.

The lawsuit states that Trader Joe cryptocurrency platform, launched in 2021, used the name and branding “after the supermarket” without permission. Trader Joe’s alleges the crypto company’s name, logo, and trading platform are confusingly similar to its trademarks.

After Trader Joe did not comply with cease-and-desist demands, Trader Joe’s filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in May 2022 seeking to gain control of the domain name. According to the complaint, Trader Joe provided false information to WIPO about the origin of its name, claiming it was named after the founder’s brother “Joe Liu,” leading WIPO to dismiss Trader Joe’s complaint in July 2022.

Trader Joe’s is seeking injunctive relief preventing Trader Joe crypto from using its allegedly infringing name, trademarks, and domains. The lawsuit also seeks compensatory damages, disgorgement of profits, and attorneys fees.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.