Judge rules Alibabacoin does not have to change name – yet

Massive Chinese company fails to stop Dubai crypto from trading in US.

A relatively minor cryptocurrency has won the support of a U.S. judge in its fight to keep its name. Alibabacoin, won this victory against the much larger Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd, after the latter had applied for an injunction to block the Dubai-based crypto from trading using the moniker.

The largely technical arguments led U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken to conclude that Alibaba, the company, has failed to show that his court had jurisdiction over Alibabacoin’s business. This was, he concluded, because they hadn’t proved a “reasonable probability” that Alibabacoin’s websites were used to do business in New York, where the court was based. Further to this, Oetken said it was not sufficient to say that Alibabcoin may one day have its coin listed on New York-based exchanges.

Alibaba, the Chinese eCommerce, retail and tech giant – very much a Chinese version of Amazon, if you will – is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and employs over 50,000 people worldwide. It has alleged that Alibabacoin has hurt its US business by causing confusion among its customers, putting it in breach of federal laws.

Judge Oetken – in dissolving a temporary restraining order issued by another judge at the start of April – concluded that any confusion there may have been was more likely to have occurred in China, and thus did not fall under his purview. He did, however, state that Alibaba deserved another shot at proving the case belonged in his courtroom, which its will get at a later date.

For its part, Alibabacoin – operating as the ABBC Foundation – denied it was trading of the larger company’s good name, and pointed out that China’s recent ICO ban had removed another area of potential confusion regarding its relationship with Alibaba.

The cryptocurrency, which is attempting to create a standard that can be adopted worldwide for eCommerce and mobile transactions, integrating its own facial recognition technology and app in order for its users to verify payments, can thus carry on using its current name in the US for now.

At the moment, visitors to the Alibabcoin website are greeted by a large pop-up warning stating that “The Alibabacoin Foundation, Alibabacoin Technology and the ABBC are not part of and are not connected or affiliated with Alibaba Group Holding Limited or Alibaba.com.”

Whether or not that will be all it has to do moving forward, will be settled in court.

Reuters