Alibaba Steps Up Cooperation on Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement

Alibaba Group recently released a series of initiatives to strengthen its intellectual property rights protection. The event happened days after Taobao was put on the blacklist by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) for the second consecutive year over suspected counterfeits sold on the eCommerce platform.

During the event, the eCommerce giant told brands and rights holders alike that it is looking to secure its platform. The primary objective is to gather as much information as they can and use the expertise of both brands and rights holder to create a much stronger database.

It should effectively improve the algorithm that Alibaba uses to counteract the fakes and even gather evidence for offline investigations.

“It’s very critical for brands and platforms and police officers to collaborate and evaluate if it could be a criminal case.”

Alibaba Group director of brand protection cooperation Lynn Fu

Creating a Pool of Industry Experts to Counteract Fraudulent Goods

According to Alibaba senior vice president Michael Yao, the Alibaba Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance (AACA) aims to build a pool of expertise and address the issues on counterfeit products faced by various sectors. Yao said that the company seeks to expand and form at least 12 working groups under the AACA.

Source: Alibaba Group

Alibaba Head of Global IP Enforcement Matthew Bassiur believes that creating a pool of industry experts will help crack down bad actors. He also cited the incident from a year ago when the company decided to prohibit all automobile airbag component listings on all of its platforms.

The company also held a series of sessions across China that helped identify bad actors and fake products. The workshops educated the attendees about the importance of understanding big data, how to distinguish fake goods, and pursue criminal charges.

The AACA is only one of the company’s several countermeasures against fake goods.

Alibaba also initiated test-buying of products to check on its authenticity and aid in proactive closedowns of sellers offering fakes or products that violate Intellectual Property rights in other ways.

The group is also encouraging authorities in China to stiffen penalties and tighten the law against counterfeiters.

As we detailed in an earlier story, the company outlined an 11-page count by count response to USTR’s allegations.

For Alibaba Group, bringing more western goods to China is very important. The conferences in Detroit and Toronto are examples of the company working hard to convince U.S. and Canadian businesses to trust Chinese distribution.

While the company may be able to convince big brand names that it is safe to sell their products in China, convincing SMEs may not be as easy.

Do you believe Alibaba Group is doing all it can to protect intellectual property rights owners? Drop us a line in the comments section below.

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