March 11, 2019 / 2:39 PM / 12 days ago

Cryptocurrency firm agrees to stop using Alibaba name

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A cryptocurrency firm said it will stop using trademarks including the term “Alibaba” as part a settlement of a lawsuit brought by Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd, the Chinese e-commerce retailer.

ABBC Foundation announced the settlement on Monday, in a statement confirmed by its U.S.-based lawyer.

The firm, which has offices in Dubai and Belarus and was also known as Alibabacoin Foundation, said it regretted any public confusion arising from its “former use of Alibabacoin.” Its cryptocurrency is now called ABBC Coin.

Alibaba did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A U.S.-based lawyer for Alibaba declined to comment.

The Chinese company had accused ABBC of confusing customers and hurting its business in the United States by using its trademarked name to raise more than $3.5 million in Alibabacoins.

ABBC countered that it was not trying to piggyback off the Alibaba name, and that China’s September 2017 ban on initial coin offerings eliminated a main source of potential confusion.

The case is Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd v. Alibabacoin Foundation et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 18-02897.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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