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Luxury group Kering drops court case and partners with Alibaba for anti-counterfeiting taskforce

Kering Group, owner of luxury brands such as Gucci and Saint Laurent has teamed with Alibaba to fight counterfeiting

French luxury group Kering and Alibaba Group have established a joint task force to fight against counterfeiting on Alibaba’s online marketplaces.

The deal, which was agreed last week, will see Kering drop its lawsuit against Alibaba and Alipay, the Ant Financial subsidiary that is part of Alibaba Group.

Kering, which owns the luxury fashion brands Gucci and Saint Laurent, launched the legal action in 2015 accusing Alibaba of being complicit in the sale of counterfeit goods on its websites.

This partnership will see the two companies work together to protect intellectual property in a bid to “provide the best consumer experience and a trusted environment”.

According to a statement, “the companies have established a joint task force with the purpose of collaborating fully, exchanging useful information, and working closely with law enforcement bodies to take appropriate action against infringers of Kering’s brands identified with Alibaba’s advanced technology capabilities".

Kering said it will continue to “vigorously enforce” the intellectual property rights of its brands “against individuals and third parties responsible for the production, distribution and sale of unauthorized materials in China and throughout the world”.

The move comes in the same week that Kering’s Saint Laurent brand announced it would sell its products on Farfetch’s Greater China platform, which has launched in partnership with Alibaba rival JD.com.

Farfetch has made clear that the ecommerce platform’s commitment to protecting brand’s intellectual property was a key factor behind its decision to partner with JD.com.

The task force is the latest in a string of anti-counterfeiting initiatives launched by Alibaba, which includes the Alibaba Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance (AACA) which was established in partnership with brands such as Louis Vuitton, Swarovski, Samsung and Mars.

Alibaba recently claimed it seized more than three billion yuan of counterfeit goods in 2016, a figure more than double that of the previous year.

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