06 July 2016
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Alibaba launches new IP infringement system

Alibaba Group has launched a new platform, known as the IP Joint Force System, in an attempt to create confidence among disgruntled brands.

The new system, announced at Alibaba’s Right Holders Collaboration Summit on 1 July, is an online platform designed to improve communications between global brands and Alibaba.

Under the new system, participating brands will be assigned an Alibaba online account manager with the aim to enhance collaboration and heighten transparency around IP enforcement efforts.

The system will “enable Alibaba to directly and efficiently seek information from rights holders regarding suspected counterfeit product listings”.

“The system aims to build greater and more collaborative working relationships with brands around the world as Alibaba continues its fight against counterfeits and IP infringement,” Alibaba said in a statement.

Alibaba has already launched a ‘good-faith takedown’ programme that quickens the process of notice takedowns for brands that submit valid counterfeit complaints.

The IP Joint Force System allows brands to identify the authenticity of a product and notify Alibaba of the infringing listing. Alibaba will then initiate the good-faith takedown process immediately without any further correspondence from the brand.

More than 700 brands participate in the current programme, many of which will participate in the first phase of the IP Joint-Force System, including Adidas, Apple, Procter & Gamble, Mars and Philips.

Matthew Bassiur, head of global IP enforcement at Alibaba, said that the new system is a “revolutionary industry solution” and that it will redefine how IP enforcement is conducted in the digital age.

This follows Alibaba’s admission into the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC) earlier in the summer, a move that was protested by various IACC members, including Gucci, which considered Alibaba to be “part of the problem” of online counterfeiting. Alibaba’s membership was subsequently suspended.

Alibaba attempted to dissuade skeptical brands, asking them to “set [their] perceptions aside”, and allow the ecommerce platform owner to become the “problem solver”.

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