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Alibaba kicked out of anti-counterfeiting trade group

Makers of counterfeit products, which steal companies’ Trademarked logos to pass their goods off as the real thing, are a big problem in many industries, including clothing. Industry groups like the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition exist to unite competing businesses in the fight against this form of Intellectual Property theft.

But the IACC has been rocked by its recent decision to admit as a member the Chinese online retail company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Reuters reports. At least three IACC members, including Tiffany & Co and Michael Kors, have resigned over the move. They say that Alibaba’s website routinely sells counterfeit merchandise, and has not done enough to crack down on vendors.

The head of Alibaba, Jack Ma, was scheduled to speak at an IACC conference in Florida. But in reaction to the members’ protests, IACC suspended the new category of membership that Alibaba was going to use. And the head of the company, Jack Ma, cancelled a planned speech at IACC’s May conference. Another Alibaba executive was scheduled to speak instead.

Reuters notes that counterfeit merchandise is a big problem in China. Besides Alibaba, another popular Chinese shopping website, Taobao, is notorious for housing online venders with fake items for sale.

Whether or not you make your products or services available overseas, protecting your Trademarks is very important. IP law can help you, but only if you are represented by an IP attorney with the knowledge and skill to enforce your business’ rights and defend you from infringement accusations from other parties.

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