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Tue 1 May 2018 08:39 AM

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Judge rules that Alibaba cannot force Alibabacoin to change its name

A New York judge argued that Alibaba didn't make a convincing case for why the matter should face an American court

Judge rules that Alibaba cannot force Alibabacoin to change its name
A US judge has rejected a bid for a preliminary injunction from e-commerce giant Alibaba to block Dubai-based cryptocurrency firm Alibabacoin from using its name.

A US judge has rejected a bid for a preliminary injunction from e-commerce giant Alibaba to block Dubai-based cryptocurrency firm Alibabacoin from using its name.

Judge Paul Oetken of the United States district court for the southern district of New York said in a Manhattan courtroom on Sunday that Alibaba failed to show that a New York court had jurisdiction in the matter, as well as to establish a “reasonable probability” that Alibabacoin’s websites were used to conduct business with customers in New York.

Additionally, Judge Oetken argued that it is irrelevant that Alibabacoin may eventually list its cryptocurrency on American exchanges or that one of its websites was hosted by a New York-based company.

According to the judge, any damage caused to Alibaba’s business or reputation from the alleged trademark infringement is likely to have occurred in China, where the company is based.

Alibaba’s lawyers had originally filed a motion to force Alibabacoin to change the coin’s name as well as pursue damages for an initial coin offering it terms as “prominent, repeated and intentionally misleading”.

Lawyers for Alibabacoin rejected the charges, saying at the time that the lawsuit “neither a reasonable or proportionate response to our client’s entirely legitimate use of an inherently generic word which emanates not from China, but indeed from the very region in respect of which your client would seek to prohibit its use.”

The company also argued that China’s ban on ICOs in September eliminated a potential source of consumer confusion regarding ties to Alibaba.

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