Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is suing an organization called the Alibabacoin Foundation, also known as the ABBC Foundation which is based in Dubai for infringing on its trademark name.
Alibaba is one of the most successful global companies and arguably the largest e-commerce firm in China. It has leveraged a lot of growth courtesy of the rapidly growing e-commerce trend. To put that into perspective, Alibaba had a market cap of $231billion when its IPO closed in September 2014. Its market value in January of 2018 was roughly $527 billion. It is thus easy to see why a company launching an ICO would want to benefit from a name as attractive as Alibaba.
The Alibabacoin Foundation also has a coin that goes by the name “Alibabacoin” and the Chinese giant claims that the founders took advantage of the name to attract customers. The foundation reportedly confused investors into thinking that the coin was associated with the Alibaba Group so that they could achieve their ICO target of more than $3.5 million.
The lawsuit was filed in a U.S. District Court in Manhattan and Alibabacoin has refuted the claims by Alibaba. The founders of Alibabacoin have defended themselves saying that they do not believe that the name would confuse potential investors into thinking that the ICO was sanctioned by Alibaba Group. The Dubai-based organization also claims that the fact that China banned ICOs and cryptocurrency-related activities also enforces their claim that there would be no confusion in the cryptocurrency market.
The ABBC Foundation also defended itself by mentioning the legendary tales of Alibaba which involve tales of gold coins and magic. The organization thus argues that it has the right to use a term that connotes golden coins and magic. ABBC also called upon a U.S District Judge to nullify a restraining order that had been issued about a week ago by a different judge. The Dubai-based firm also urged the judge not to make a ruling that would restrict the use of the name.
The ABBC Foundation’s legal representative also argued that the Manhattan District Court did not have jurisdiction since the foundation does not have adequate ties to New York. Meanwhile, the foundation plans to incorporate artificial intelligence into its Alibabacoin blockchain in image recognition especially in financial transactions and electronic wallets. Alibabacoin plans to use its solutions to create a global retail platform that will focus on countries that are involved in crypto exchange.