Chinese E-commerce Giant Alibaba Wins Preliminary Injunction Against Alibabacoin

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has won a preliminary injunction against Dubai-based Alibabacoin Foundation in a lawsuit over the misleading use of Alibaba in their name, financial website MarketWatch reports Wednesday, Oct. 24.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has sided with the Chinese corporation during the trademark infringement case hearing Monday, Oct. 22.

Judge James Paul Oetken, as cited by MarketWatch, said that consumer confusion could occur due to the similarity of trademarks; therefore, the Alibabacoin Foundation should not use the confusing “Alibaba” part for its brand anywhere in the U.S.

According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the court’s decision implies that the Alibabacoin Foundation will no longer be able to promote or sell its cryptocurrency in the country until larger action on this case is decided.

In April, Alibaba sued the Dubai-based Alibabacoin Foundation for copyright infringement after the latter’s Initial Coin Offering (ICO) raised $3.5 mln. The Chinese giant stated that the company Alibabacoin engaged in “prominent, repeated, and intentionally misleading” behavior by using a similar name.

In addition, Alibaba said that coin’s owners did nothing to combat or correct this confusion. The initial lawsuit was accompanied by a temporary restraining order against Alibabacoin.

In May, a U.S. court ruled against Alibaba’s request for an injunction, and Judge Oetken negated a restraining order on the Alibabacoin Foundation’s activity.

In early 2018, Alibaba was rumored to have plans to launch a cryptocurrency mining platform despite strict Chinese regulations. Later, the giant clarified the rumors, stating that its P2P platform had been mistakenly taken for a crypto startup. The company also added it has never issued virtual currencies and will not host any crypto mining platforms.

In mid-October, the Alibabacoin Foundation reportedly offered for Alibaba to purchase their startup.

According to the Alibabacoin Foundation’s website, the company wants to build a fund security system improved by a secret technique for implementing a blockchain algorithm into a facial recognition hashing process. According to CoinMarketcCap, Alibabacoin is ranked 1691th in global cryptocurrency rankings, and has seen a decline in price this week dropping from $1.6 per coin to $0.37 as of press time.

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Alibaba's Ant Financial to Launch Blockchain Backend-as-a-Service Platform

Ant Financial, the financial affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, is launching a blockchain BaaS (Backend-as-a-Service) platform, local news outlet China Money Network reports September 21.

The announcement was reportedly made by Ant Financial vice president Jiang Guoefei at the Ant Technology Exploration Conference (ATEC) in Hangzhou yesterday. The new BaaS platform is being launched in tandem with an enterprise-focused “ant blockchain partner program” that will reportedly enable small- and medium-scale businesses to implement and innovate new blockchain solutions.

The announcement aligns with what Gueofei characterized as a move to “open up” Ant’s in-house technologies to the wider commercial sector:

“In the past two years, Ant Financial has been working on two aspects about blockchain. One is to improve the technology, and the other is to open it up and accelerate the commercialization of blockchain applications.”

As part of its impetus to commercialize the technology, Ant Financial trialed its very first blockchain remittances earlier this summer, using its newly-developed blockchain-based electronic wallet cross border remittance service. The trial demonstrated a transfer of funds between Ant Financial’s AliPayHK — the Hong Kong version of Ant’s popular mobile payment app Alipay — and Filipino payment app GCash.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma has signalled increasing involvement of AliPay in blockchain for several years, with Ant Financial most recently securing $14 billion in funding for the technology’s development this June.

Fresh data published late August revealed that Alibaba had sealed first place globally on a new list that ranked entities by the number of blockchain-related patents filed to date; the e-commerce conglomerate has filed a staggering 90 such patents, outflanking even IBM.

Nonetheless, Ma delivered a keynote lecture earlier this month in which he noted that blockchain is one of a host of advanced technologies that still need to prove they can help evolve society in a “greener and more inclusive” direction.

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