Alibaba Group Holding on Monday sued a Dubai-based company, which it alleges has caused confusion by using its trademarked name to raise more than .5 million in a cryptocurrency known as Alibabacoin.
In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Alibaba said Alibabacoin Foundation's "prominent, repeated, and intentionally misleading" use of its trademarks is designed to confuse consumers to think its products are affiliated with or endorsed by the Chinese online retailer.
Neither Alibabacoin, which is also known as ABBC Foundation, nor its law firm immediately responded to requests for comment outside regular business hours.
Hours after the lawsuit was filed, U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood issued a temporary restraining order directing Alibabacoin to explain on April 11 why it should not be enjoined from further alleged infringements.
The lawsuit seeks a halt to alleged further infringements, plus compensatory, punitive and triple damages for alleged violations of federal and New York law. Reuters obtained a copy of the restraining order, which was not available in online court records.
Alibaba is periodically involved in lawsuits, as a plaintiff and as a defendant, over the alleged sale of counterfeit goods on its website.
Alibaba accused Alibabacoin of using its "single-minded focus to capitalize on the plaintiff's reputation for success" by using its trademarks "without alteration, in countless instances" to sell cryptoassets.