After being sued by Alibaba for making use of the name Alibabacoin to raise $3.5 million in funding, it was announced in a post from Reuters March 12, 2019, that ABBC coin has conceded to stop using the name.
What’s In a Name?
While the blockchain and crypto industry is still a bit ‘niche’, it does have quite a crowd attached to it with almost 2,000 cryptocurrencies and thousands of firms in the space. As a result, everyone is trying to get noticed by the public and one of the go-to ways to achieve this is for a business to attach themselves to a more known and better-established business. Whilst this is creative in some sense, it often backfires and can have serious ramifications for those involved.
Monex had to issue a warning to customers about fraudsters impersonating them and Dukascopy has stated that they will take legal action against GCG Asia, a firm that has falsely claimed to be associated with them. In recent times, there has been a rise in blockchain-related companies being sued by bigger firms for this act and such was the case between Alibaba and ABBC.
Alibaba and Co.
It was reported on March 12, 2019, that ABBC Foundation, a cryptocurrency firm, has agreed to stop making use of the name ‘Alibaba’ as it infringes on the Chinese firm’s trademark. They had at a time been known as the Alibabacoin Foundation and apologized for any misunderstanding that was brought about by their use of that name.
They had been sued by the Chinese e-Commerce giant for allegedly hurting their business in the United States by making use of their name and raising over $3.5 million through the sale of their Alibaba coins in a move that Alibaba says was meant to deceive investors.
ABBC responded initially by saying that the ban on cryptocurrency in Alibaba’s home country of China would have removed any doubts as to their affiliation. While there might be a ban on crypto in China, it would be a bit presumptuous to assume that every investor who chooses to put their money in a product called Alibaba coin is aware of this and isn’t being reeled in by a global brand name.
These sorts of cases will help set the tone among crypto firms that mainstream organizations will not take kindly to their name being used, even in a ‘crypto-version’ form.