25 July 2017Trademarks

Alibaba succeeds in counterfeit cat food lawsuit

Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba has succeeded in its dispute with a Taobao merchant selling counterfeit cat food.

In March, WIPR  reported that the counterfeiter was accused of selling RMB 2.67 million ($386,400) worth of goods on online shopping marketplace Taobao, which is owned by Alibaba.

In a joint exercise with Mars last May, Alibaba’s platform governance team detected a merchant suspected of selling fake cat food under Mars’s Royal Canin brand.

Alibaba sued the merchant for violation of contract and goodwill, alleging that the merchant had broken several of the trading platform’s regulations prohibiting the sale of counterfeit merchandise.

In January, Alibaba had also sued two alleged online counterfeit sellers over fake Swarovski watches.

Alibaba said this was the first instance of an internet platform taking a counterfeiter to court in China.

On Friday, July 21, Alibaba’s news website, Alizila, announced that the cat food vendor was found guilty of defamation against Alibaba.

According to Alizila, a court in Shanghai ordered the defendant to pay Taobao RMB 120,000 ($17,776) in damages.

Jessie Junfang Zheng, Alibaba’s chief platform governance officer, said: “Winning the first lawsuit has made Alibaba more confident in our crackdown on counterfeit merchants.”

She added that Alibaba planned to put all the proceeds it received from the lawsuits into a special fund “dedicated to protecting and compensating” its consumers.

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