Alibaba has won a preliminary injunction against a cryptocurrency project accused of using the Chinese e-commerce giant’s brand name to promote its token. This has been the second attempt by Alibaba to force the obvious knock-off Alibabacoin (ABBC) into a name change. The first attempt was denied by a court ruling back in May, with a US district court deciding that it had no jurisdiction over the Dubai- and Belarus-based ABBC token.
“Alibaba has not met its burden to establish a reasonable probability that the Court has personal jurisdiction over Alibabacoin,” said the US district judge in response to the company’s first application.
ABBC is made by the Alibabacoin Foundation and has no affiliation whatsoever with Alibaba, despite the shared name. However, Alibaba has repeatedly claimed that ABBC has been using Alibaba’s branding and trademarks to promote its ICO. ABBC, now valued at $1.9 million, is attempting raise $3.5 million in its ICO campaign.
According to the Alibabacoin Foundation’s LinkedIn page, the company will be using “artificial-intelligence techniques effective for image recognition most reliably to identify a person most accurately as possible and use this technique effectively for the structure of payment of electronic wallets and financial transactions [sic].”
Alibaba submitted its second filing against ABBC on October 22nd. The company claimed that it had acquired sufficient evidence obtained “through discovery” for a court ruled injunction.
Judge Paul Oetken, upon reviewing the renewed application, agreed. He stated that the defendants would now be prevented “from using the ALIBABA Marks, as Alibaba has defined that term in its application for a preliminary injunction, alone or in combination with any words, terms, designations, marks, or designs—as well as any mark, image, or depiction that is confusingly similar to or likely to impair the distinctiveness of the ALIBABA Marks—anywhere in the United States.”
Raising additional funds for ABBC will likely be a much more difficult task now that the Alibabacoin Foundation will no longer be able to use any materials, terms, marks, designs or words belonging to Alibaba.