US Judge Rejects Alibaba Infringement Motion to Block ‘Alibabacoin’
A U.S. federal judge has turned down Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd.’s move to block Dubai cryptocurrency firm Alibabacoin Foundation from using the Alibaba name for its Alibabacoin virtual currency.
In his ruling, Judge Paul Oetken of the Southern District of New York, Manhattan, denied Alibaba’s motion on jurisdictional grounds, saying it failed to show that the use of the Alibabacoin name would hurt its business prospects in New York or would infringe its trademarks in New York.
Judge Oetken said any damage to Alibaba’s business or reputation from the allegedly infringing use of the Alibaba name occurs in China, not in New York. A U.S. federal judge has no jurisdiction on legal issues that occur in a foreign country.
According to Alibabacoin, China’s ban on initial coin offerings eliminates any possibility that consumers in China will be confused into thinking the Alibabacoin is associated with Alibaba Group.
Reacting to the ruling, Alibabacoin tweeted: “We firmly believe that Alibabacoin Foundation never acted illegally. Fair and square speaking, we strongly believe and trust the judge’s decision above all else.”