Mars owns brands such as Pedigree, Whiskas and Catsan. This is the second counterfeiting lawsuit from Alibaba against Taobao merchants in as many months. In January, the ecommerce giant took two vendors to court for using Taobao to sell counterfeit Swarovski watches.
Alibaba also asked the court to require the merchant to publish a written apology in several publications.
Jessie Zheng, chief platform governance officer at Alibaba, said: “The current legal penalty on counterfeiting in China for is too light to deter counterfeiters from manufacturing and selling fake goods to pursue huge profits.”
“While waiting for the criminal procedure, we determined to take the civil action to increase the illegal cost”
Earlier this week, Alibaba executive chair Jack Ma called for Chinese legislators to toughen laws and penalties against counterfeiting, arguing that action would foster innovation in the country.
Alibaba also launched its big data anti-counterfeiting alliance with several international brands in January, including Louis Vuitton, Samsung and Mars.
Zheng said: “In our fight against counterfeits, we not only proactively take down infringing product listing, we also launched the Big Data Anti-counterfeiting Alliance to empower brands, work with authorities to eradicate offline counterfeit sites, and publicly appeal for stiffer penalties for counterfeiters.”
“But we are not stopping there. By taking civil actions, we want to bring the full force of the law to bear on these counterfeiters.”