Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA) held an inaugural Rights Holders Collaboration Summit to engage international brands and the intellectual property enforcement community to enhance collaboration in the collective fight against IP infringement. More than 100 domestic Chinese and international brands and trade associations attended the event, including Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Apple, Mars, Hewlett Packard, the Chinese British Business Council (CBBC) and the Quality Brand Protection Committee (QBPC), among others.
Alibaba also announced the launch of a new IP Joint-Force System, an online platform designed to streamline IP-related communications between brands and Alibaba. The system aims to build greater and more collaborative working relationships with brands around the world as Alibaba continues its fight against counterfeits and IP infringement.
“E-commerce has become a way of life for consumers both in China and around the world. 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, Chief Platform Governance Officer at Alibaba Group. “The Rights Holders Collaboration Summit and new IP Joint-Force System are some of the many ways Alibaba is working closely with rights holders in our efforts to eradicate counterfeits both online and offline.”
IP Joint-Force System
Beginning July 1, 2016, Alibaba will launch a new IP Joint-Force System – an online platform that allows participating brands to streamline communications and collaborative efforts around IP enforcement between Alibaba, brands and other rights holders.
All participating brands in the existing “Good Faith Takedown” program will be eligible for the new IP Joint-Force System. Alibaba previously launched the “Good Faith Takedown” program in 2015 to expedite the notice-takedown process for brands that submit valid counterfeit complaints. Today, over 700 brands participate in the “Good Faith Takedown” program, many of which will participate in the first phase of the IP Joint-Force System, including Adidas, Apple, Procter & Gamble, Mars and Philips, among others. Alibaba expects the system to be available for all existing “Good Faith” brands.
With over a billion products listed across Alibaba Group’s marketplaces at any given time, its sophisticated data analytics and processing technologies enabled the company to proactively remove more than 120 million infringing product listings from its marketplaces in 2015, which is 8x the number of counterfeit products removed based on takedown requests from brands.
Under the new IP Joint-Force System, each participating brand will be assigned a dedicated online portal and Alibaba account manager to enhance collaboration, heighten transparency around IP enforcement efforts, and reinforce mutual understanding and trust. 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.
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.
“The IP Joint-Force System is a revolutionary industry solution that will redefine how IP enforcement is conducted in the digital age – where brands and e-commerce marketplaces must work collectively and strategically to combat counterfeiters,” said Matthew Bassiur, Head of Global IP Enforcement, Alibaba Group. “This is one of several game-changing approaches that Alibaba will be advancing to both simplify and greatly enhance our overall enforcement process.”