Business

Erik Gibbs

Sorry Alibaba, Alibabacoin is here to stay

A new cryptocurrency hit the markets recently, and its name didn’t sit well with the Chinese retail giant Alibaba. The coin, Alibabacoin, was seen as infringing on Alibaba’s name, so Alibaba did what any company would do—it sued. Unfortunately, a judge didn’t see it through the same eyes and has now thrown out the suit, Reuters reported.

Alibaba filed its complaint against the Dubai-based group on April 2. It accused Alibabacoin of an “unlawful scheme to misappropriate” Alibaba’s brand name “in order to deceive investors in the U.S. and around the world.” It argued that the company had used Alibaba’s name to raise more than $3.5 million through its initial coin offering (ICO), and that the company is not registered nor approved by regulators in the United States.

A judge issued a temporary restraining order subsequent to the suit; however, the judge who presided over the case, J. Paul Oetken, determined that Alibaba has no jurisdiction in the U.S. It also decided that, since China bans all ICOs, there could not be any possible confusion.

In reaching his decision, the judge stated, “Alibaba did not show he had jurisdiction, having failed to establish a ‘reasonable probability’ that Alibabacoin’s interactive websites were used to transact business with customers in New York.” Judge Oetken further elaborated on his decision, adding, “Any injury Alibaba might have suffered to its business, goodwill and reputation from alleged trademark infringement likely occurred in China, where the e-commerce retailer is based.”

Alibabacoin was founded by Jason Daniel Paul Philip, who currently serves as the company’s CEO, and Hasan Abbas, its chief technology officer. It has offices in Dubai and Minsk, Belarus, and began offering its ICO in March. The ICO will be conducted in phases, with the first having taken place between March 1 and March 15, according to the company. A second phase was scheduled to begin on March 16, but the company hasn’t updated its information to show whether that phase took place. Nor has the company updated its website to indicate how much it has collected to date.

The lack of updates and public information are enough to create a less-than-confident opinion of the company. Requests for comments have gone unanswered and more potential investors are now questioning the legitimacy of the cryptocurrency.

In a statement to CoinGeek, a spokesperson for the Alibaba Group said the eCommerce giant planned to submit a new motion.

“Alibaba Group is not affiliated with the ABBC Foundation. The court’s ruling on April 30 was with respect to jurisdiction. We will be submitting a new motion and are confident we will be able to put an end to this willful, concerted and unlawful scheme by the ABBC Foundation to exploit Alibaba Group trademarks,” the spokesperson said.

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