“Identity theft is not a joke, Jim!” — Dwight Schrute, The office.
American grocery store giant Trader Joe’s has filed a federal lawsuit against DeFi platform called ‘Trader Joe’ for trademark infringement. The lawsuit was filed on October 5 where the grocery store chain said that its trademark has been misused and that it seeks all profits generated from the DeFi platform as damages.
Trader Joe was launched in 2021 which operates on the Avalanche blockchain. Its anonymous team initially started it as a fork of SushiSwap. Their liquidity providers who deposit funds earn supply-side fees from traders.
This lawsuit is the second time Trader Joe’s has tried to shut down the platform.
What happened in the previous attempt?
In 2022, the United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organisation received a complaint from Trader Joe’s. They complained that the platform was using their name for profiteering purposes.
But, the defendant and the co-founder of Trader Joe platform, Cheng Chieh Liu claimed that the platform was actually named after his brother Joe Liu.
It was all going well until a Substack newsletter from cryptofish, another co-founder of Trader Joe revealed that the platform was actually named after the grocery store giant.
With no name for the DEX yet, [we] just named it Trader Joe, after the supermarketcryptofish
Following this, Trader Joe’s filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court of California.
What’s actually in Trader Joe’s lawsuit?
The lawsuit first and foremost exclusively states that the DeFi platform did not seek permission to use the grocery store’s name. It also addresses branding issues caused by the naming.
Defendants neither sought nor received Trader Joe’s permission to name their platform after Trader Joe’sTrader Joe’s said in the lawsuit.
Trader Joe’s also claims in the lawsuit that the DeFi platform uses aliases within the company. They further claimed that DeFi platform’s use of the “Trader Joe” name benefits it monetarily given the grocery chain’s broader reputation.
The lawsuit also said that the DeFi platform used their name to “avoid detection, subvert legal process, and operate free of legal consequence.”
This case is a warning against Using established brand names in crypto without permission. It can lead to legal disputes and damage reputations, as seen in the Trader Joe’s case. Beyond this particular case, it serves as an unsettling reminder that legal and regulatory issues can have a big impact on innovation and growth in the DeFi industry.