- US Judge rejects the move by Alibaba to stop Alibabacoin cryptocurrency.
- Alibaba claims it is an infringement for the Dubai-based Alibabacoin Foundation to use the name “Alibaba.”
A US federal judge, Paul Oetken, has declined the move by Alibaba Group Holding Limited, a Chinese multinational e-commerce platform, to stop a Dubai-based cryptocurrency firm, Alibabacoin Foundation (also known as ABBC), from using the name “Alibaba” for its Alibabacoin cryptocurrency.
In his ruling, Oetken rejects Alibaba’s move on jurisdictional grounds, stating that the move fails to show that using the name “Alibaba” in the Alibabacoin cryptocurrency would infringe its trademarks or hurt its business prospects in New York. Amazingly, Oetken stated that it didn’t matter that Alibabacoin might eventually be listed on a New York exchange.
Oetken said that damage can only be done to Alibaba’s business or its reputation as a result of the supposedly infringing use of the Alibaba name in China, and not in New York. The jurisdiction of a US federal judge does not extend to legal issues in a foreign country.
Alibabacoin Foundation claimed that China’s ban on cryptocurrencies and ICO removes the possibilities that customers in China will be confused into thinking that Alibabacoin is associated with Alibaba Group.
Alibabacoin, in a statement released on Tuesday 1st May, said the judge made the right decision. Alibabacoin tweeted:
We firmly believe that Alibabacoin Foundation never acted illegally. Fair and square speaking, we strongly believe and trust the judge decision above all else. As always, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for the support and continue patronizing Alibabacoin Foundation. pic.twitter.com/8skk7FTWt6
— ABBC Foundation (@abbcfoundation) May 1, 2018
Alibaba Group filed a litigation against Alibabacoin Foundation last month, claiming that the foundation was unlawfully associating with its name to promote its digital currency. According to Reuters, Alibabacoin Foundation replied by filing a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming that Alibaba Group cannot monopolize the “magical” Alibaba name. Alibabacoin argued:
“The legend of Alibaba conjures up thoughts of magic, gold coins, and ‘Open Sesame. The ABBC entities are well within their rights to use a word connoting magic and golden coins in an area (Alibaba) has not used or, at the very least, has abandoned.”
An interesting fact is that Jack Ma, the CEO for Alibaba Group skeptical about bitcoin and has expressed concerns over Bitcoin’s lack of transparency and its potential use for money-laundering:
“Bitcoin is not for me,” Ma said. “We are not focused on bitcoin. We are focused on a cashless society for China…trying to make sure the society is more efficient, more transparent, with no corruption.”
Though skeptical about bitcoin, Jack Ma is enthusiastic about blockchain. A subsidiary of Alibaba, Lynx International, has successfully integrated blockchain into its cross-border logistics operations. And there is a likelihood that Alibaba Group will continue with incorporating blockchain technology into its vast business empire.