Executive Briefings

Manufacturers' Battle Against Counterfeit Brands Is Costly, Ongoing Endeavor

The grand golden doors of 500 Pearl Street, in Manhattan, have welcomed such glamorous names as Hermès, Tiffany & Co., and Kering, a French conglomerate whose treasures include Gucci and Bottega Veneta. The building is not a posh hotel or department store. It is the federal court for the Southern District of New York, a favored battleground for the decidedly unglamorous war against counterfeit goods.

Manufacturers' Battle Against Counterfeit Brands Is Costly, Ongoing Endeavor

The court is now the venue for Kering's suit against Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce giant. Kering alleges that Alibaba helps fakers sell goods on its websites. The French firm is not the only one to be incensed.

On July 17 the American Apparel & Footwear Association demanded that Alibaba crack down on counterfeits. Alibaba insists it has extensive measures in place to do just that. A bitter trial looks likely.

The fight against copycats has been long and arduous. Kering's suit is the industry's most important in a decade - Alibaba has more than 1 billion product listings and aspires to reach consumers around the world. But its sites are hardly the only places shoppers can find copies. Fake sales are proliferating online, with counterfeiters becoming more technologically adept, more difficult to track, and harder to pursue in court.

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The court is now the venue for Kering's suit against Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce giant. Kering alleges that Alibaba helps fakers sell goods on its websites. The French firm is not the only one to be incensed.

On July 17 the American Apparel & Footwear Association demanded that Alibaba crack down on counterfeits. Alibaba insists it has extensive measures in place to do just that. A bitter trial looks likely.

The fight against copycats has been long and arduous. Kering's suit is the industry's most important in a decade - Alibaba has more than 1 billion product listings and aspires to reach consumers around the world. But its sites are hardly the only places shoppers can find copies. Fake sales are proliferating online, with counterfeiters becoming more technologically adept, more difficult to track, and harder to pursue in court.

Read Full Article

Manufacturers' Battle Against Counterfeit Brands Is Costly, Ongoing Endeavor