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Gucci-owner Kering Group sues Alibaba for ‘assisting counterfeiters’


By John McCarthy | Opinion editor

May 18, 2015 | 2 min read

Kering Group has launched a lawsuit against Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba for hosting the sale of replica goods on-site

The firm’s Gucci brand in particular has been widely hosting illegally replicated goods with copies selling for as little as $2. Kering said Alibaba is complicit in the sale of the counterfeit goods, comparing its hosting of the sales on-site as “racketeering”, according to the lawsuit filed in New York on Friday.

The complaint read: “The Alibaba defendants facilitate and encourage the sale of an enormous number of counterfeit products through their self-described ‘ecosystem’, which provides manufacturers, sellers, and buyers of counterfeit goods with a marketplace for such goods, and provides online marketing, credit card processing, financing, and shipping services that effectuate the sale of the counterfeit products.”

An Alibaba spokesperson said: “We continue to work in partnership with numerous brands to help them protect their intellectual property, and we have a strong track record of doing so.

“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.”

This comes after Alibaba announced new plans to implement a new form of QR code on its products to help differentiate them from counterfeits.

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