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Alibaba breaks new ground in Swarovski counterfeiting lawsuit

Date:2017-01-11

  Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group has sued two alleged online counterfeit sellers, in what the business claims is the first instance of an internet platform taking a counterfeiter to court in China.

  Alizila, Alibaba Group’s official news site, announced on January 4 that the company had sued two alleged counterfeiters.

  Alibaba filed its case at the Shenzhen Longgang People’s District Court against Liu Huajun and Wang Shenyi, who sold fake Swarovski watches using the company’s Taobao site.

  The e-commerce site asked for RMB 1.4 million ($202,000) for “violation of contract and goodwill.”

  Alibaba used “mystery shopping”—surreptitious purchases of suspected fake merchandise—and ‘big data’ to identify counterfeit Swarovski products and trace Huajun and Shenyi to Shenzhen.

  Data analysis indicated that the counterfeit shop, which was registered on Taobao in November 2015, was “likely” to be selling counterfeit products.

  In August last year, police in Shenzhen’s Luohu district used information supplied by Alibaba to seize 125 fake Swarovski watches and two counterfeit Swarovski official seals.

  The estimated total value of the goods was RMB 200 million.

  Jessie Zheng, chief platform governance officer at Alibaba Group, said: “Selling counterfeits not only violates our service agreement, it also infringes on the intellectual property rights of the brand owner, puts inferior products in the hands of consumers, and ruins the hard-earned trust and reputation Alibaba has with our customers.”

  Matthew Bassiur, head of global IP enforcement at Alibaba, added: “Big data analytics enhance our ability to identify and pursue counterfeiters and make it increasingly difficult for these illicit sellers to hide in the shadows.”

TypeInfo: Industry trends

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