Alibaba Being Sued by Luxury Brand for Counterfeits

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Counterfeit goods via the online shopping platform provided by Alibaba has recently become a huge issue. So much so, that many US luxury brands who have their products offered with Alibaba sued the company.

The lawsuit is alleging that Alibaba knew about counterfeit goods being sold of these luxury brands, and that Alibaba went so far as to make it possible for these counterfeiters to do this. These are high accusations coming from some of the biggest luxury brands out there. These brands include Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and other Paris Kering SA owned brands.

The lawsuit was filed in Manhattan and the brands are seeking damages and an injunction for the violations against their trademarks. The lawsuit goes into detail stating that Alibaba conspired to manufacture, sell and traffic counterfeit goods that were bearing the trademarks of these brands without the brands permission.

Second Round for Kering

This is not the first time in which Kering Group has sued Alibaba over the counterfeit goods that are found on their platforms. Last July, the company filed the same type of lawsuit, but later withdrawn it with the ability to refile if there was not a peaceful resolution found among the group and Alibaba.

This particular lawsuit claimed that Alibaba was providing advertising and other services to counterfeiters who were selling these products to customers in the United States. In particular this lawsuit called to attention a Gucci bag being sold for $2 to $5 online from a Chinese merchant to buyers who would buy at least 2,000 units. In normal situations, Gucci bags retail for around $795.

Alibaba’s Response

Alibaba has publicly acknowledged many times that counterfeit goods were an issue with the online platform, and have put new measures in place to help prevent this.

Bob Christie, a spokesman for Alibaba, in a statement talked about their track record for stopping counterfeit goods, as well as their strong intellectual property as a company. Specifically, it was stated:

“We believe this complaint has no basis and we will fight it vigorously.”

The case is being held in US District Court, Southern District of New York, and is Gucci America Inc versus Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. The case number is 15-03784.

About Author

Social Brand Watch (SBW) is a collection of experts in digital, mobile and social media in China. SBW was created to complement Resonance's China Social Branding Report, a bi-weekly report focusing on modern marketing methods of the world's top brands in China.

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