- Li Lin, Huobi’s founder, sues Huobi Global in Hong Kong for trademark infringement.
- The lawsuit claims Huobi Global violated the acquisition agreement by using the “Huobi” trademark.
- Tension has been escalating between Li Lin and Justin Sun, who acquired Huobi last year for over $1 billion.
A storm is brewing in the cryptocurrency world as Li Lin, the founder of Huobi, has filed a lawsuit against Huobi Global for alleged trademark infringement in Hong Kong. This development marks a significant clash between two crypto titans.
Huobi, a renowned cryptocurrency exchange, underwent a major transformation when it was acquired for over $1 billion by Justin Sun, the blockchain mogul behind TRON, in 2021. The acquisition, which was meant to bolster Huobi’s position in the crypto landscape, has instead resulted in a convoluted relationship between Li Lin and Sun. This relation further soured when Sun froze the account of Li Lin’s brother, accusing him of offloading HT tokens.
The legal action centers around the unauthorized use of the “Huobi” trademark by Huobi Global. Li Lin’s X-Spot Co., Ltd, which is said to retain exclusive rights to the trademark, alleges that Huobi Global has been making unauthorized use of the trademark, which contravenes the acquisition agreement.
According to the lawsuit, during the transfer of Huobi Global shares to About Capital Management, it was explicitly agreed that the original shareholders would retain the exclusive rights to the “Huobi” trademark, and these rights would not be transferred to the acquirer or Huobi Global. The agreement purportedly contained a clause prohibiting the buyer from utilizing the “Huobi” trademark and brand.
This legal battle highlights the intricacies and challenges that can emerge post-acquisition, particularly when trademarks and branding are involved. It also casts a spotlight on the governance and compliance aspects of the crypto industry, which remains under scrutiny.
The outcome of this lawsuit could have far-reaching implications for Huobi Global and the broader crypto space, and will be closely watched by industry stakeholders.