Date
24 January 2017
Alibaba has been accused of knowingly allowing counterfeiters to operate on the group's e-commerce platforms. Photo: Reuters
Alibaba has been accused of knowingly allowing counterfeiters to operate on the group's e-commerce platforms. Photo: Reuters

Kering files fresh lawsuit against Alibaba over counterfeits

Kering SA, the owner of Gucci, Balenciaga and other luxury brands, has filed a fresh lawsuit against China’s Alibaba Group over alleged sale of counterfeit goods on the e-commerce giant’s platforms.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in a New York court, alleges that Alibaba units “knowingly encourage, assist, and profit from the sale of counterfeits on their online platforms,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

It is the second time that Kering has sued Alibaba.

Last July, a few months before Alibaba launched its US initial public offering, the Paris-based firm filed a similar lawsuit against Alibaba but then withdrew it two weeks later, the paper noted.

The latest lawsuit reasserts previous claims, alleging that Alibaba permits several counterfeiters to operate on its various platforms even when the merchants openly state that they are selling fake goods.

Alibaba is accused of helping counterfeiters by providing them marketing and logistical services on its various platforms, including Alibaba.com, AliExpress.com and Taobao.

Alibaba said the complaint has no basis, and asserted that the Chinese group has a strong track record of helping brands fight counterfeits.

“Unfortunately, Kering Group has chosen the path of wasteful litigation instead of the path of constructive cooperation. We believe this complaint has no basis and we will fight it vigorously,” a company spokesman was quoted as saying.

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