Dubai-based cryptocurrency company Alibabacoin Foundation has denied allegations by Chinese e-commerce platform Alibaba that it has operated an “unlawful scheme to misappropriate” Alibaba’s renowned brand name.
Last week, WIPR reported that Alibaba had filed a trademark infringement suit in the US, claiming that Alibabacoin Foundation had used the ‘Alibaba’ trademark to raise more than $3.5 million in crypto assets known as “AlibabaCoins” from investors.
“Our client has not indicated any intention to create an e-commerce site which infringes the Alibaba Group’s e-commerce site, or to trade off the Alibaba Group’s IP by setting up an e-commerce site,” said lawyers for Alibabacoin Foundation.
The Dubai-based company added that an internet search reveals “a dozen businesses operating in Dubai” using the name Alibaba.
“There is nothing to suggest that those businesses are not acting entirely within the law in using a well-known name from folklore.
“Alibabacoin, using a differentiated name, cannot be considered to be in breach, either,” it added.
Ali Baba is a character from the folk tale “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”.
Alibabacoin Foundation added that it has no intention of infringing any legitimate rights held by Alibaba. It invited Alibaba to point out any areas of confusion which might arise and noted that it would take “all reasonable steps” to avoid such confusion.
In its lawsuit, filed at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, Alibaba sought injunctive relief to stop Alibabacoin Foundation from using the ‘Alibaba’ marks.
But in its response, the cryptocurrency company’s counsel said: “Your final demand that Alibabacoin Foundation shut down all its operations, and start again with another name, is neither a reasonable or proportionate response to our client’s entirely legitimate use of an inherently generic word which emanates not from China, but indeed from the very region in respect of which your client would seek to prohibit its use.”
A judge has imposed a temporary restraining order on Alibabacoin Foundation and ordered the company to explain on Friday, April 13 why it should not be enjoined from further alleged infringements.
Source: WIPR website