Alibaba first intermediary firm to join anti-counterfeit group

Alibaba logoAlibaba has become the first firm to join the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC) under the group's new general membership category.

The IACC set up the new category to allow intermediary companies such as online retailers to contribute the organisation's activities against counterfeiting and piracy. Alibaba has been working with the IACC since 2013 but this is the first time that it has been given membership of the group.

"General member status is reserved for companies that are not directly or substantially impacted by counterfeiting, but whose industry position or policies make them a potential partner with the IACC in its mission to combat counterfeiting and piracy," said the organisation.

The intention is to bring general members to a closer, more constructive relationship with its other members, which include brand owners, law firms, investigative firms, product security companies, trade associations, government agencies and academic groups.

Alibaba has come under considerable fire of late from brand owners angry about listings for counterfeit goods that appear on its e-commerce sites such as Taobao and Tmall.

It has announced a number of initiatives to try to tackle the issue, including a collaboration with the IACC on the MarketSafe programme aimed at taking down fraudulent listings promptly.

The two partners claim that MarketSafe has a 100 per cent takedown rate when companies stand behind their claims and is resulting in 10,000 listings being removed each month.

"The problem of counterfeiting is too pervasive and complex for any single company or industry to combat on its own," said Bob Barchiesi, IACC president.

"By bringing intermediaries to the fold, we are offering our current membership a new way to work with them directly on this issue while coordinating a collective effort to developing solutions to global counterfeiting and piracy."

The IACC will discuss the role of intermediaries at its next annual spring conference, which will be held in Orlando, Florida, next month.

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