Kering to take action against Alibaba over counterfeit goods

United States
Published:  18 May, 2015

Kering has issued legal proceedings against Alibaba Group Holding Ltd on May 15, contending the Chinese online shopping giant had knowingly made it possible for counterfeiters to sell their products throughout the world. The lawsuit was filed in Manhattan federal court by Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and other brands owned by Paris-based Kering seeking damages and an injunction for alleged violations of trademark and racketeering laws.

The lawsuit alleged that Alibaba had conspired to manufacture, offer for sale and traffic in counterfeit products bearing their trademarks without their permission.

A spokesman for Alibaba, Bob Christie, said in a statement: "We continue to work in partnership with numerous brands to help them protect their intellectual property, and we have a strong track record of doing so. Unfortunately, Kering Group has chosen the path of wasteful litigation instead of the path of constructive cooperation. We believe this complaint has no basis and we will fight it vigorously."

Concerns over fake products on Alibaba's platforms, including online marketplace Taobao, have dogged it for years, although the U.S Trade Representative removed Taobao from its list of "notorious markets" in 2012 in light of progress made.

The new lawsuit marked the second time in less than a year that the Kering brands had sued Alibaba over the alleged sale of counterfeit products.

The lawsuit alleged that Alibaba and its related entities "provide the marketplace advertising and other essential services necessary for counterfeiters to sell their counterfeit products to customers in the United States."

The lawsuit cited, for example, an alleged fake Gucci bag offered for $2 to $5 each by a Chinese merchant to buyers seeking at least 2,000 units. The authentic Gucci bag retails for $795, the complaint said.

Source: Reuters

comments powered by Disqus