The complaint, filed with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, alleges that the crypto platform has violated federal trademark laws.
Trader Joe’s is an American chain of grocery stores that offers a unique shopping experience. It was founded in 1958 by Joe Coulombe in Pasadena, California, and it has since grown to become a popular grocery store chain with 560 stores across the United States.
The crypto platform Trader Joe is an Avalanche-based decentralized exchange (DEX) that offers several functions like token swaps via an automated market maker (AMM), yield farming, staking of the native utility token, and governance.
Trader Joe’s lending protocol, called Banker Joe, is a money market protocol that allows users to borrow and lend funds without giving up their custody of them.
As part of the yield farming branch of the project, users can earn extra rewards through trading fees and tokens.
It was founded by two pseudonymous developers, called Cryptofish and 0xMurloc. The former is a full-stack and smart contract developer and an early contributor to several Avalanche projects.
The latter is a full-stack developer with startup experience and a former Senior Product Lead at Grab.
Trademark Clash: Supermarket vs. Crypto platform
The legal dispute centers around Trader Joe’s claim that the defendants operate a cryptocurrency platform named ‘Trader Joe’ and employ the domain name traderjoexyz.com. This resemblance to the supermarket chain has not gone unnoticed.
The grocery giant asserts that the platform has deliberately adopted the ‘Trader Joe’ moniker, creating a narrative around a fictionalized character bearing the same name, who conducts business at a local marketplace. This narrative cleverly echoes the essence of Trader Joe’s business and brand.
The grocery store said that the suit which was filed last week is a product of its attempt to address worries with the crypto firm privately.
When these efforts proved unsuccessful, the retailer filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in May 2022, seeking to strip the crypto firm of its traderjoexyz.com domain name.