Your favorite neighborhood purveyor of chocolate-covered almonds and frozen quesadillas is out for revenge.
Trader Joe’s, the American grocery store chain, is again trying to shut down the popularplatform Trader Joe for trademark infringement, after unsuccessfully attempting to do so last year, according to a recently filed federal lawsuit.
The grocery chain is now seeking all profits from the Trader Joe DeFi platform as damages, plus additional payments to “adequately compensate” the brand, as well as further damages to compensate the company for its “erroneous” loss last year in the United Nations’ court.
The family-friendly food stop now also insists that all websites affiliated with the Trader Joe DeFi platform be immediately seized and the platform permanently shut down.
Last year, the grocery chain filed a complaint with the United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), seeking to seize the Trader Joe crypto trading website from its owners, on the grounds that the platform capitalized on the name “Trader Joe’s,” or a variation of it.
Cheng Chieh Liu, a co-founder of the Trader Joe DeFi platform, soon mounted a defense that the DeFi platform had nothing whatsoever to do with any vendor of fine cookie butters or mac ‘n’ cheese bites, and was in fact named after his brother, Joe Liu.
The defense worked: the United Nations threw out the case.
Perhaps rubbing some Himalayan pink sea salt in the wound, just weeks after that resounding victory, cryptofish—a pseudonymous co-founder of the Trader Joe DeFi project—wrote a Substack newsletter describing the moment the platform was named, in fairly unambiguous terms.
“With no name for the DEX yet, [we] just named it Trader Joe, after the supermarket,” cryptofish wrote.
That appears to be the (veggie) straw that broke the camel (milk soap bar)’s back.
In a lawsuit filed last week in the United States District Court Central District of California, attorneys for the Trader Joe’s grocery chain took particular issue with the crypto traders’ alleged dishonesty about their project’s name.
“Defendants concocted a false story,” the suit reads. “Those representations were false, and Defendants knew of their falsity.”
Decrypt reached out to the founders of the DeFi platform regarding these allegations but did not immediately receive a response.