The Alibaba Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance has announced the creation of a new panel of advisers within the organization to promote greater collaboration between the global technology company and AACA members and more effective protection of intellectual-property rights.
The AACA, which launched last January with international brands such as Louis Vuitton, Samsung and Mars, combines industry and technical know-how in the fight against IP infringers on Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms. Now, the organization has taken the additional step of setting up an Advisory Board to enable rights owners to exchange information with Alibaba in a more efficient manner, Alibaba’s head of Global IP Enforcement, Matthew Bassiur, said during an AACA meeting in Hangzhou on Tuesday.
The Advisory Board would give members the chance to influence policies and system-wide changes being implemented by Alibaba as it continues its fight to protect brands’ intellectual property, Bassiur said.
“What comes with this is more responsibility,” he told AACA members today. “You have the opportunity to participate in strategic decisions and to share your experience on a much more focused level.”
All 12 of the industries represented in the alliance, ranging from apparel and consumer electronics to autos and personal-care products, will be represented on the Advisory Board. They include companies such as Swarovski, Adidas, Ford, Pernod Ricard and Sony, among others. The board is expected to convene once per quarter, with members of the board serving one-year, rotating terms. Also speaking at the meeting, Chief Platform Governance Officer Jessie Zheng said the initiative would ensure that Alibaba continued to employ best practices in its defense of brands’ intellectual property and that it was a trusted partner to those brands.
She also emphasized that the deeper level of collaboration with brands were part of a larger responsibility the AACA has to rid the market of IP-infringing goods.
“The alliance needs to stand at a higher level,” Zheng said. “Whether you’re from the platform or a rights holder, we all need to take on more social responsibility, to work hard in order to promote a healthier economy and society.”
Alibaba also highlighted two offline enforcement campaigns in which it had worked with law enforcement to find IP infringement at its source.
During the nine months since AACA launched, the alliance has worked with law enforcement on 28 successful offline enforcement campaigns. Among those, over RMB 200 million worth of Louis Vuitton goods were confiscated in a series of criminal raid actions across three cities of China, while Chinese high-end kitchenware brand Supor tracked down an IP-infringer—with Alibaba’s help—that the company had been chasing unsuccessfully for three years.
Supor Legal Director Zhao Guanqun said her company was excited about the AACA’s accomplishments so far, and that Supor was looking forward to joining the Advisory Board as well.
“We will work with Alliance members to call on society to fight counterfeits like drunk-driving and improve regulations so that counterfeiters will pay the price they deserve,” Zhao said.