Alibaba offers counterfeit reporting in English

TaoBao imageAlibaba has launched an English language version of its counterfeit reporting system in the face of ongoing complaints from brand owners.

The Chinese online retail giant said the move was designed to make it easier for foreign companies to file complaints and takedown requests relating to listings on its Taobao and Tmall e-commerce platforms.

The system - called TaoProtect - also allows brand owners to file complaints for other intellectual property violations such as copyright infringement, patent infringement and unfair use of trademarks.

TaoProtect is similar to another IP-complaint system operated by Alibaba called AliProtect that covers global wholesale marketplace, global shopping website AliExpress and China wholesale marketplace, said the company in a press release.

The English version of TaoProtect will make the system more accessible to Western companies, according to Xinghao Wang, Alibaba Group's US-based senior IP protection manager.

"Because the success and integrity of our marketplaces depend on consumer trust, we have comprehensive policies and practices in place to fight IP infringement," Wang said, including the use of data-analysis technology to monitor the sites for counterfeit-product listings.

The move comes as Alibaba is in the face of escalating criticism from the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), which has repeatedly berated the company for not doing enough to protect the interests of brand owners.

The company is also facing a lawsuit from luxury goods group Kering SA - which owns brands such as Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) and Puma - although it did get some recognition from the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC) earlier this year, which said it was making progress in the fight against online piracy.

Image courtesy of:
Gil C /

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