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Alibaba Tailors Counterfeit Reporting To Western Brands

Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba has launched a new English version of its counterfeit reporting system after facing criticism for being soft on counterfeit sellers.

The new version “TaoProtect” has been designed for reporting intellectual property (IP) infringement on its platforms Taobao.com and Tmall.com and makes the reporting and removal process much faster and more efficient, according to a press release.

While Alibaba has another platform called “AliProtect” to cover three of its other websites, Alibaba.com, AliExpress.com and 1688.com, TaoProtect has been made exclusive for handling a range of other complaints, such as patent infringement, copyright infringement and unfair use of trademarks.

With the launch of the English version of TaoProtect, Western companies would have better access to the counterfeit reporting system, which uses data analytics for managing counterfeit product listings, said Xinghao Wang, Alibaba Group’s U.S.-based senior intellectual property 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."

Though TaoProtect does not immediately take down product listings to protect the rights of all parties, it has been designed to weigh the legitimacy of a complaint and to ensure that merchants are not unfairly penalized.

"Information received through TaoProtect and AliProtect is an essential part of the rule-making effort, and the data in the reporting system may also be used in the monitoring system,” Wang added.

The platform would also better identify suspicious listings that might get missed by the eCommerce platform’s internal countermeasures as it handles over 10 million active sellers.

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