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Judge Rules Against Alibaba in Crypto Trademark Case

U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken rejected digital retail giant Alibaba’s trademark lawsuit against the Alibabacoin Foundation at the end of April, court filings show.

Alibaba failed to show that the District Court from the Southern District of New York has jurisdiction over the Alibabacoin Foundation, according to the ruling. The company first brought the suit early in April when it alleged that Alibabacoin was trying to mislead investors by implying that Alibaba was involved in the project somehow.

The foundation is based in the Cayman Islands, and while its website is accessible in New York state, that alone is insufficient to prove “personal jurisdiction.”

“Alibaba fails to cite a single case in which a court has concluded that an agreement with a third-party web-hosting company in New York bears an articulable nexus to a trademark infringement claim involving a website,” Oetken wrote.

The judge goes on to explain that Alibaba has not shown that any U.S.-based individual maintains the foundation’s website, which would be needed for a jurisdiction argument.

The judge further points out that some of Alibaba’s arguments would apply to securities cases, but not to a trademark suit. He also noted:

“Alibaba has failed to identify a specific economic injury in New York … nor has it alleged the existence of a New York market in which it lost actual or potential customers to Alibabacoin. To the contrary, Alibaba expressly disclaims any intention to enter the cryptocurrency market, in New York or anywhere else.”

He continued, saying “without allegations of specific, non-speculative harm in the form of actual or potential injury in a New York market for it sservices. Alibaba cannot estalbish a New York-based injury under an economic tort theory.

He concluded by releasing the temporary restraining order by Alibaba against Alibabacaoin was dissolved.

“Alibaba has not met its burden to establish a reasonable probability that the Court has personal jurisdiction over Alibabacoin,” the judge wrote.

Image via Shutterstock

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E-Commerce Giant Alibaba Blasts 'Alibabacoin' in Trademark Lawsuit

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has filed suit against the founders of a cryptocurrency named “Alibabacoin,” arguing that the project is infringing on its trademark.

The company launched the legal fight on Monday, submitting a complaint through the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Alibaba said that the defendants misappropriated its brand in an effort to raise $3.5 million through an ICO.

Lawyers for the e-commerce firm wrote:

“Rather than build independent value in their brand and the products and services they offer, Defendants have engaged in a willful and concerted campaign to cause the public to believe falsely that Alibaba is the source of the Defendants’ products and services, or that such products and services are endorsed or sponsored by, or otherwise associated or affiliated with, Alibaba.”

U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood subsequently issued a temporary restraining order to the Dubai-based Alibabacoin Foundation, requiring it to explain by April 11 why it should not be prevented from additional infractions, per a report from Reuters.

Alibaba further claimed that several unidentified news outlets have falsely reported an affiliation between Alibaba and the Alibabacoin Foundation. In a March 26 press release, the Foundation disputed the claim that it has a relationship with Alibaba, stating that the project’s backers “don’t have any particular correlation, affiliate, agreement, partnership, nor any contract whatsoever with Alibaba.com.”

The e-commerce company is seeking an injunction against the Foundation, in addition to unspecified damages.

Image Credit: charnsitr / Shutterstock.com

Alibaba’s complaint can be found below:

Complaint by CoinDesk on Scribd

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.