Judge Paul Oetken of the Southern District of New York (Manhattan) has ruled that Alibabacoin - a Dubai-based cryptocurrency firm - wouldn't hurt Alibaba Group's business in New York or its trademarks.
Alibabacoin (also knows as the ABBC Foundation) was founded in January 2018, creating confusion in the market and triggering fake news linking the coin to Chinese Alibaba Group Holding (NYSE: BABA), one of the world’s biggest e-commerce companies. In April, Alibaba Group took legal action against Alibabacoin, claiming their US business was being hurt by the unlawful use of its company name. Alibaba’s lawsuit sought a halt to further alleged infringements, in addition to damages for alleged violations of federal and New York state law.
The ABBC Foundation filed to dismiss the lawsuit, mentioning that the "magical" name cannot be monopolized. “The legend of Alibaba conjures up thoughts of magic, gold coins, and ‘Open Sesame,’” Alibabacoin said. “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.”
Lawyers for Alibabacoin claimed that the allegations were “neither a reasonable or proportionate response” to their 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”.
Following the ruling, Alibabacoin reaffirmed their position in a tweet earlier today, stating:
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
By Nadya Astam