Chinese online retail leader Alibaba filed a lawsuit on April 2 in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York against a Dubai-based firm behind the initial coin offering (ICO) of a project named ‘Alibabacoin,’ alleging that the project is using Alibaba’s trademark illegally.
In the lawsuit, Alibaba alleges that the Alibabacoin Foundation’s “prominent, repeated, and intentionally misleading” use of its trademarks is done in order to trick investors into believing that Alibabacoin and related products are affiliated with or endorsed by the Chinese e-commerce giant.
The lawsuit claims that the ABBC Foundation misappropriated Alibaba’s registered trademarks in its token offering, which raised over $3.5 mln.
A report by the Digital Journal purports to contain an official announcement by the ABBC Foundation, which says that the Foundation has no “particular correlation, affiliate, agreement, partnership, nor any contract whatsoever with Alibaba.com.”
Reuters reports that U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) to the Foundation to explain why it “should not be enjoined from further alleged infringements” hours after the lawsuit was filed.
According to the Reuters report, whose authors claimed to have reviewed a copy of the TRO, “The lawsuit seeks a halt to alleged further infringements, plus compensatory, punitive and triple damages for alleged violations of federal and New York law.”