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E-commerce company Alibaba has claimed that it doesn’t meet any “meaningful definition of a notorious market” so its subsidiary Taobao should be removed from the US Trade Representative’s (USTR) 2018 Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets.
The statement came as part of Alibaba’s submission to the USTR, filed on Monday, October 1, as the USTR continues to compile the 2018 report.
In January 2018, in its 2017 review, the USTR commended Alibaba for its anti-counterfeiting efforts to date, but listed Taobao as a “notorious market”.
The report noted that despite Alibaba’s efforts to address counterfeiting, in 2017 more small and medium-sized enterprises requested support from the US regarding the site than any other e-commerce platform.
However, in its comments, Alibaba said that it isn’t a notorious market and that its submissions to the USTR show yearly innovation and advances that place it “among industry leaders in the protection of IP”.
According to the e-commerce platform, from September 2017 through August 2018, takedown requests decreased 44% compared to the previous year. The decline coincides with a 36% increase in the number of registered accounts in Alibaba’s IP protection system.
Alibaba added that the USTR should apply objective criteria that all e-commerce marketplaces—whether foreign or domestic—are realistically able to meet.
“If foreign marketplaces are held to a standard that no platform—US or foreign—can realistically satisfy, the Notorious Markets list loses meaning,” said the comments.
Alibaba also highlighted that in 2017, it removed approximately 23 times more listings proactively than through takedown requests and that Taobao handled 97% of all takedown requests within 24 hours.
The platform also founded an anti-counterfeiting alliance (AACA) in January 2017, with membership climbing to 105 in May this year. Formed with international brands including Louis Vuitton, Samsung and Mars, the AACA leverages big data and the latest anti-counterfeiting technology to continue the fight against fakes.
In August this year, China introduced legislation that will hold e-commerce platforms jointly responsible for counterfeit goods sold by third parties on their site. Under the new legislation, e-commerce operators will be required to act quickly when a violation has been reported.
Alibaba, Taobao, notorious markets, counterfeits, US Trade Representative, USTR, anti-counterfeiting, brands, trademark infringement