Hangzhou
15 January 2018
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Alibaba refutes Notorious Markets report


Alibaba has issued a point by point refutation against allegations levelled at its Taobao platform in the US Trade Representative’s 2017 Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets.

The Notorious Markets report highlighted 25 online markets and 18 physical markets, including Taobao, which it said offered a “high volume of infringing products”.

The ecommerce company had previously claimed that Alibaba had been “turned into a scapegoat by the US Trade Representative to win points in a highly-politicised environment and their actions should be recognised for what they are”.

Among other accusations, the Notorious Markets report said that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) using the Taobao platform “continue to have problems accessing and utilising takedown procedures on Taobao”.

“In 2017, more SMEs have requested assistance from US government agencies and embassies regarding Taobao than any other ecommerce platform,” it said.

Alibaba argued that this “proves nothing” and that it is the biggest commerce platform in the world, making it inappropriate to compare platforms by simply counting complaints with no context.

“What about Amazon, eBay and others? The Trade Representative has no basis for comparison, because it does not ask for similar data from US companies,” Alibaba explained.

The ecommerce company said it has engaged in “extraordinary direct outreach” to US SMEs through roadshows and work with the US government, including participation in the US Patent and Trademark Office’s roadshows to “educate SMEs on our IP protection programmes”.

Alibaba also took issue with the assertion from the report that Alibaba had “undertaken efforts, some within the last six months, to curb the offer and sale of infringing products on Taobao”.

It said: “The implication that we have only been focused on this for the last 6 months is ridiculous. Addressing counterfeits has been a top priority of Alibaba for many years, and Alibaba has made steady progress over that time, as evidenced by our Notorious Markets submissions since 2012 (when Taobao was taken off the list).”

Alibaba added: “The Trade Representative completely ignores the work we have done for many, many years … It is condescending for the Trade Representative to assert that Alibaba should continue to do the good work we are doing.”

More trademarks news
The latest news from IPPro The Internet
Join Our Newsletter

Sign up today and never
miss the latest news or an issue again

Subscribe now
Man fined more than £500,000 for counterfeit selling
16 February 2018 | Stafford | Reporter: Barney Dixon
A man who bought counterfeit DVDs from China and sold them as genuine products on eBay has been fined £567,000 following 16 months of imprisonment
EIP hires trademark head
13 February 2018 | London | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Intellectual property law firm EIP has hired Claire Lehr as head of its trademark practice
Comerica Banks wins UDRP
01 February 2018 | Geneva | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Comerica Bank has won a UDRP dispute at the World IP Organisation Arbitration and Mediation Centre
Three-quarters of brands suffer trademark infringement
22 January 2018 | Boston | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Almost three-quarters of brands have been victims of trademark infringement in the past year, according to a new survey from trademark research and protection firm CompuMark
TWiT sues Twitter for trademark infringement
18 January 2018 | California | Reporter: Barney Dixon
TWiT.tv, is suing Twitter for breach of contract, unfair competition and trademark infringement, stemming from a deal the two companies made in 2007
Alibaba refutes Notorious Markets report
15 January 2018 | Hangzhou | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Alibaba has issued a point by point refutation against allegations levelled at its Taobao platform in the US Trade Representative’s 2017 Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets
USTR targets Taobao in Notorious Markets review
12 January 2018 | Washington DC | Reporter: Barney Dixon
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has revealed the findings of his office’s 2017 Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets, including accusations against Alibaba’s Taobao ecommerce platform