Chinese e-commerce platform Alibaba has accused a Dubai-based cryptocurrency company of operating an “unlawful scheme to misappropriate” Alibaba’s renowned brand name.
In a trademark infringement lawsuit filed at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York yesterday, April 2, Alibaba claimed that Alibabacoin Foundation (aka ABBC Foundation) had used the ‘Alibaba’ trademark to raise more than $3.5 million in crypto assets known as “AlibabaCoins” from investors.
Alibaba claimed that ABBC Foundation had engaged in a “wilful and concerted campaign” to confuse consumers into thinking the products are affiliated with or endorsed by the Chinese e-commerce company.
According to the suit, ABBC Foundation features Alibaba’s trademarks in materials they’ve made available on the internet, including materials soliciting investment in the US.
“And, lest there be any doubt in consumers’ minds as to whether defendants are associated with Alibaba, those same materials brazenly and explicitly assert that is the case,” it said.
Alibaba added that some news outlets have already begun reporting that ABBC Foundation is affiliated with Alibaba, while others have speculated whether this is the case.
The e-commerce platform owns numerous trademarks in the US, including ‘Alibaba.com’ for business services and ‘Alibaba’ for use in computer software.
US District Judge Kimba Wood has issued a temporary restraining order. He directed ABBC Foundation to explain on April 11 why it should not be enjoined from further alleged infringements.
Alibaba is seeking a permanent injunction, punitive damages, triple damages, and a jury trial.
“Defendants have done nothing to combat or correct this confusion, and indeed, appear to have stoked it whenever possible, even using the terms ‘ABBC’ and ‘Alibaba’ interchangeably,” added the claim.
Source: WIPR website