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Alibaba Unveils New System For Combating Counterfeit Goods

Alibaba Unveils New System For Combating Counterfeit Goods

Online marketplace Alibaba is adding a few new tricks for keeping counterfeit goods off its website, a move that could improve relations between it and various high-end retailers who want knock-off products to go away.

Alibaba already has a "Good Faith Takedown" program, which has more than 700 participating brands. Depending on the skill of each brand at successfully reporting fake goods on Alibaba's websites, brands are given priority access to the company's counterfeit reporting and removal tools—ensuring that brands' reports are reviewed and processed more quickly if they're good at spotting fakes.

Expanding on that system, Alibaba is introducing a new "IP Joint-Force System." Brands that are particularly prone to copyright infringement—or at least, very concerned about it—will be assigned an Alibaba account manager that will work directly with the brand to go after fakes on Alibaba's sites.

"The system will enable Alibaba to directly and efficiently seek information from rights holders regarding suspected counterfeit product listings, which Alibaba, as a third-party marketplace, is unable to authenticate on its own with full certainty," reads Alibaba's description.

"The system allows brands to identify the authenticity of a product and easily notify Alibaba of the infringing listing. Alibaba will then initiate the Good Faith Takedown process and immediately remove the listing without required subsequent correspondence with the brand. This two-way communication stream is critical in creating a feedback loop that will continue to improve the speed and accuracy with which Alibaba is able to determine the authenticity of a product."

It's unclear just how many companies are going to be participating in the IP Joint-Force System. Presumably, it's just reserved for some of the bigger brands and/or brands that have the largest infringement issues on Alibaba. At some future point, Alibaba expects that all companies already involved in its Good Faith Takedown program will also be able to be a part of its IP Joint-Force System.

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"As the internet sector continues to evolve, brands and online marketplaces alike face new IP enforcement challenges. As the leading online marketplace, we have a responsibility to all of our constituents to govern our platform and find innovative solutions," said Jessie Zheng, Alibaba's chief platform governance officer, in a statement.

Alibaba was suspended from the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition in May, following complaints and threats from other member brands that they would leave the coalition if Alibaba was allowed to stay. They accused Alibaba of failing to do enough to prevent the sale of counterfeit material on its online marketplaces.


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