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