The Hong Kong High Court has ruled in favour of X-Spot Global Limited, (X-Spot), the holder of Chinese trademarks for Huobi (火币), against Huobi Global.
Huobi Global manages the HTX cryptocurrency exchange.
The case began with Justin Sun’s announcement on Twitter in Chinese on May 26, 2023, stating the official launch of “Huobi Hong Kong”.
Purportedly, Sun then continuously infringed on these trademarks across various public platforms.
X-Spot, upon discovering the trademark infringements, issued multiple notices to Huobi Global and its affiliates, demanding an immediate halt to these activities.
However, Huobi Global chose to ignore these warnings, persisting in its trademark infringement.
One instance saw it change its name from “Huobi Global” to “Huobi” and to a phonetically similar Chinese name “火必”.
As a response, on June 20, 2023, X-Spot submitted an application for an injunction to the Hong Kong High Court, seeking to compel Huobo Global to cease its trademark infringement.
The legal proceedings took a turn on August 7, 2023, when Huobi Global applied to revoke the Service Out Order and proposed an alternative resolution through arbitration.
Huobi Loses Case
After months of legal proceedings, the case went to trial on October 18, 2023. Finally, on December 8, 2023, Hon. Mimmie Chan J of the Hong Kong High Court issued a judgment –
First, X-Spot’s injunction application received full support, prohibiting Huobi Global from using “火幣” or “火币” or any names or symbols similar enough to cause confusion.
Furthermore, Huobi Global is required to bear all legal costs incurred by X-Spot.
Second, Huobi Global’s application to revoke the Service Out Order was flatly rejected, and its plea for arbitration was also dismissed.
Coinlive has reached out to Huobi Global for comment.
You can read the judgement here:
SEE: Huobi loses its trademark to X-Spot
What is X-Spot Global?
Registered in the British Virgin Isles (BVI), X-Spot Global is owned by Leon Li, the ex-CEO of the Huobi Group.
The co-founder of Huobi, Li who transformed it into the world’s most active Bitcoin exchange in 2013, sold his entire stake in October 2022.
This legal tussle has seen Li strike against his previous organisation, which he has helped found.
Although he has disengaged from the cryptocurrency exchange, his LinkedIn page continues to designate him as the CEO.
Huobi Global’s current CEO is Hua Zhu, an ex-Alibaba Group Holding executive.