19 September 2016Trademarks

WIPR survey: Alibaba must do a better job of addressing counterfeiting

E-commerce website Alibaba is not doing enough to tackle fake goods, according to WIPR readers.

WIPR had previously  reported that a number of European trade groups asked Alibaba to “properly address counterfeiting in a transparent, efficient and speedy manner”.

The Union des Fabricants, the French Federation of Leather Goods and the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, among others, wrote a letter to Alibaba asking it to address the alleged counterfeiting on its website in a “speedy manner”.

Responding to WIPR’s most recent survey, 80% of respondents said they did not believe the e-commerce website was doing enough to reduce the number of counterfeits on its sites.

“Alibaba and its sister platforms Aliexpress, Tmall and Taobao make it difficult and time-consuming for brand owners to remove counterfeit listings,” said one respondent.

It added: “With the pervasiveness of counterfeiting on these platforms, Alibaba should develop a pre-screening mechanism for any sellers who are listing branded merchandise.”

In July, WIPR  reported that Alibaba had launched a new system that it said would streamline communications and collaboration to help improve intellectual property enforcement online.

The new system allows brands to identify the authenticity of a product and let Alibaba know about infringing listings. Alibaba then initiates the existing ‘good faith takedown’ process and removessuch listings.

Another respondent added: “Alibaba requires the rights holder to contact them multiple times, spaced over certain time periods, and the site in question is only removed when enough ‘naughty’ points have been amassed. Such sites need instant removal and should only be re-posted when they prove that their use was legitimate.”

But it’s not all bad news, with one respondent claiming that when it had filed a complaint, it was successful.

For this week’s survey we ask: “September 16 marked five years since the America Invents Act was signed into law. Has the legislation significantly improved the patent landscape for inventors/businesses in the US, as was hoped?”

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More on this story

6 September 2016   E-commerce website Alibaba has reportedly been asked by a number of trade groups to “properly address” counterfeiting in a transparent, efficient and speedy manner.
17 January 2017   Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group has formed an anti-counterfeiting alliance with international brands, including Louis Vuitton, Samsung and Mars.