It has emerged this week that Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, have filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against Alibabacoin Foundation, the Dubai cryptocurrency company, accusing it of trade mark infringement.
For those that may not know, Alibaba Group Holding Limited is a multinational e-commerce, retail and technology company that operates in over 200 countries. Since its inception in 1999, it has grown to become one of the biggest and most valuable companies in the world.
The complaint from Alibaba is based on its belief that Alibabacoin has knowingly infringed upon its trade marks in order to deceive consumers into thinking the two entities are linked or affiliated. Alibaba allege Alibabacoin has purposely misappropriated its name as part of a plan to make millions in crypto assets (digital assets that act as a medium of exchange) from investors who wrongly believe the two undertakings are connected. In its filing, Alibaba have highlighted Alibabacoin's standalone use of the world 'Alibaba' as well as another use where they have put a space in between the two words 'Alibaba' and 'Coin' on an image.
Alibaba are seeking an injunction to prevent Alibabacoin from using the Alibaba marks as well as compensatory damages, punitive damages and damages based on the Defendant's profits.
Alibabacoin Foundation have denied all allegations and explained that their use of the word 'Alibaba' is legitimate, highlighting the fact this word actually originated from the Arabian folk tale of 'Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves'.
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