You know things are serious when one of the largest e-commerce giants in the world with a market cap of $510 billion comes after a startup which is barely known even in its home turf. That is exactly how it is playing between Alibaba Group and the Dubai-based developers of a cryptocurrency called Alibabacoin.
The Chinese e-commerce giant says the coin’s creators deliberately misused its trademarked name to dupe unsuspecting customers into thinking that Alibabacoin is associated with Hangzhou, Zhejiang-based Alibaba Group.
The team behind Alibabacoin recently announced that it raised more than $3.5 million in its initial coin offering (ICO).
Alibaba Group has already filed a lawsuit in a U.S. District Court in New York. The lawsuit alleges an unlawful ploy to misappropriate the e-commerce firm’s “renowned brand name in order to deceive investors in the U.S. and around the world with a single-minded focus to capitalize on [the] Plaintiff’s reputation for success.”
“[The] defendants prominently feature trademarks owned by Alibaba Group Holding, in whole and without alteration, in countless instances in materials they make publicly available on the internet, including in offering materials that solicit investment from investors in the U.S. and elsewhere,” it added.
The lawsuit lists several defendants who are associated with Alibabacoin. These include ABBC Foundation, ABBC Black Chain IT Solutions LLC, Alibabacoin General Trading FZE, and Alibabacoin Foundation LLC.
The lawsuit also lists Jason Daniel Paul Philip, founder, and CEO of Alibaba Foundation and, Hasan Abbas, the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer.
None of the defendants in the case has so far reacted to the allegations brought in by Alibaba Group.