Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has filed suit against the founders of a cryptocurrency named "Alibabacoin," arguing that the project is infringing on its trademark.
The company launched the legal fight on Monday, submitting a complaint through the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Alibaba said that the defendants misappropriated its brand in an effort to raise $3.5 million through an ICO.
Lawyers for the e-commerce firm wrote:
"Rather than build independent value in their brand and the products and services they offer, Defendants have engaged in a willful and concerted campaign to cause the public to believe falsely that Alibaba is the source of the Defendants' products and services, or that such products and services are endorsed or sponsored by, or otherwise associated or affiliated with, Alibaba."
U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood subsequently issued a temporary restraining order to the Dubai-based Alibabacoin Foundation, requiring it to explain by April 11 why it should not be prevented from additional infractions, per a report from Reuters.
Alibaba further claimed that several unidentified news outlets have falsely reported an affiliation between Alibaba and the Alibabacoin Foundation. In a March 26 press release, the Foundation disputed the claim that it has a relationship with Alibaba, stating that the project's backers "don't have any particular correlation, affiliate, agreement, partnership, nor any contract whatsoever with Alibaba.com."
The e-commerce company is seeking an injunction against the Foundation, in addition to unspecified damages.
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Alibaba's complaint can be found below: