A US District Court judge has rejected a complaint filed by the Chinese IT-giant Alibaba Group, intended to block the Dubai-based cryptocurrency firm Alibabacoin Foundation from using the Alibaba name. The judge ruled that this matter would not fall under US jurisdiction, as potential injury suffered by the alleged trademark infringement of Alibaba Group would have occurred in China, rather than in the United States.
In the complaint, filed a month ago, Alibaba Group argued that Alibabacoin was behind the ”unlawful scheme to misappropriate the Alibaba name”. The bid also claimed that this could potentially confuse or deceive investors both internationally as well as in the US. However, the US judge in charge of the matter, Paul Oetken, dismissed the Alibaba Group complaints on the grounds that it was not important whether or not Alibabacoin might potentially look to list its cryptocurrency coin on American exchanges, nor was it pertinent to the case that a New York company hosted one of Alibabacoin’s websites. Oetken also removed a temporary restraining order against Alibabacoin, which has been in place since it was issued by a different judge on April 2.
Oetken went on to argue that since the Chinese government banned initial coin offerings last year, it should be abundantly clear that the Alibabacoin does not have any connection to Alibaba Group. However, he added that Alibaba was entitled to a new chance to show why this case might, in fact, belong in a Manhattan court. This might very well happen, as Alibaba Group has vowed that it will now take ”further action” in response to the US court ruling. An Alibaba spokesperson clarified that this will take the form of submittal of a new motion, as the US legal rejection was based mainly on the area of jurisdiction.
Alibabacoin did not reply to Alibaba Group’s statement that they will take new legal action against the Dubai-based company. However, Alibabacoin previously said that they do not believe that they are infringing on the Alibaba trademark – as Alibaba is a commonly used business name in Dubai, and ”does not belong to a certain entity and individual”. This statement certainly holds some credence, as the Alibaba name was first popularized by the Middle-Eastern folk tale ”Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”.
It is therefore hard to dispute Alibabacoin’s right to the name – but Alibaba Group is, then again, admittedly a widely recognized company and trademark. One thing is, however, certain – and that is that this case between the Dubai-based cryptocurrency foundation and the Chinese IT conglomerate seems to be far from over.
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