Canada Goose Joins Brands in Alibaba’s Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition

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Alibaba Group said the membership of its key group aimed at protecting intellectual property (IP) rights for brands on its platforms has more than tripled in size from inception, which it sees as a sign of confidence and growing success in its collaborative efforts to combat counterfeits.

At its most recent gathering in Hangzhou, the Alibaba Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance (AACA) said its membership had climbed to 105 brands, up from the original 30 when it was founded in January 2017. The current membership represents companies from 12 industry categories and global top names, including Bose, Canada Goose, Honda, Samsung, Mars, Adobe, Danone, Hasbro and L’Oreal. (Among its other anti-counterfeiting moves, in 2016 Canada Goose introduced a hologram hang tang.)

“We take a partnership approach to protecting IP”, said Alibaba SVP Michael Yao, who heads its brand protection cooperation. “Brands share IPR and other related insights about their products—enabling us to leverage our proprietary, cutting edge technology and algorithms to root out and deter bad actors. The speed of the group’s expansion reflects the trust these large major global brands have in Alibaba and what we are doing.”

Better Together

With the mission of “partnering to create a healthy society for the protection of intellectual property rights,” the alliance was created as a way for Alibaba to work with brands, using the latest anti-counterfeiting technology to protect IP across its platforms. AACA members collaborate in six key areas including proactive online monitoring and protection, a product test-buy program, offline investigations and enforcement actions, industry-law enforcement workshops, litigation tactics, and public awareness campaigns.

An AACA advisory board was established in September, enabling rights owners to provide feedback in areas such as IPR enforcement-related strategies, policies, procedures, new trends, litigation and platform practices throughout the e-commerce industry.

To better facilitate information-sharing, AACA members have been divided into 12 industry working groups (IWG) that will maintain regular dialogue outside of AACA’s triennual meetings and work hand-in-hand among themselves and with Alibaba to find solutions to problems encountered within their own sectors.

Tougher IP Protection Portal

Also at the meeting, Alibaba detailed a recent upgrade of its intellectual property protection portal – the online site where rights holders report suspect listings and share information with the company – offering faster navigation and an even better user experience.

Alibaba said its Good Faith program, which is open to brands with a track record of accurate notice and take-down filings, had lessened its burden of proof for reporting suspected infringing listings.

Promising Results

The results have been noteworthy, and brands have noticed. With nearly 620 million monthly active users and 1.8 billion listings on its platforms, Alibaba has invested heavily in fortifying IPR protection.

From algorithms that proactively scan its e-commerce platforms, to test-buying programs that seek out fakes, to assessing reports from brands and rights holders, Alibaba has implemented multiple initiatives and programs to accelerate authentication and takedowns and deal with bad actors.

Referring to a cross-country crackdown on counterfeit wine in 2017, Anna Gibson, director of IP protection for Penfolds under the Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) Group, said a big reason for her brand’s attendance at the Friday event was to “express our gratitude to the Alibaba team’s contributions.” All told, tens of thousands of bottles of fake TWE wine were uncovered in Shanghai and Xiamen, with the help of the Alibaba’s offline task force and local law enforcement. As a result, 14 suspects were arrested.

“When we determine the case is likely to qualify as a criminal case, we step up the investigation and examine relevant information. Building on mutual trust we have established with the brands, we work closely with them to explore potential joint legal or enforcement action,” said Lynn Fu, Alibaba’s Director of Brand Protection and Cooperation.

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