The U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board will referee the thriller action between two giants over the rights to the trademark/name ALI.  In case number 91269471, Alibaba Group Holding Limited has challenged application serial number 90/203382 filed by Mohammad Ali Enterprises, LLC.

Alibab’s opposition filing is 419 pages long, including a 20 page brief and nearly 400 pages of trademark registrations owned by the company. All of the cited registrations relate to a family of trademarks with the ALI prefix, though none are for ALI alone.   The marks include ALIBABA, ALICLOUD, ALIEXPRESS, ALIFISH, ALIGENIE, ALIMAMA, ALIMEBOT, ALIYUN, ALIOS, and ALIZILA, covering numerous classes, and many types of goods and services.  One mark alone covers 7 classes with a description of goods/services more than 3700 words long. Alibaba was founded in 1999, and has been rated the world’s 2nd most valuable retail brand in 2019 before it split into three companies.

Mohammad Ali won the gold medal at age 18 under his birth name, Cassius Clay, in the Rome Olympics more than 60 years ago in 1960, then turned pro the same year.  He is often credited as the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time, and was arguably the world’s most famous person at the time of his death in 2016 at the age of 74.

Mohammad Ali Enterprises is a marketing and media company specializing in the promotion of boxing and Mohammad Ali entertainment and merchandise.  The company is owned by Authentic Brands Group, which acquired the rights in 2013 from the Ali family.  The trademark registration application is based on intent to use, for goods in class 9, including downloadable wallpaper, ringtones, and video games for mobile phones; mobile phone accessories, namely, face plates and cell phone covers; pre-recorded video cassettes, audio tapes, CDs and DVDs featuring or associated with athletes, celebrities and public figures; recorded and downloadable computer game software and online downloadable computer game programs; recorded and downloadable video game software; video game discs; sunglasses; eye glasses; eyewear; cases for eyeglasses and sunglasses; optical glasses; sports glasses. The company owns many other trademark registrations relating to the boxing legend.

Kirk Hartung is a member of the Mechanical Patent Practice Group at McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC. For additional information please visit or contact Kirk directly via email at

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