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Luxury brands drop Alibaba lawsuit, agree to work together against fake goods

Luxury brands agree to drop a lawsuit against China's Alibaba, and will team up with the e-commerce giant to combat the sale of counterfeit goods.

Luxury conglomerate Kering Co., owner of brands such as Burberry, Gucci and Balenciaga, is dropping a lawsuit against Alibaba Group and Ant Financial subsidiary Alipay, and has agreed to join hands with the e-commerce giant to tackle counterfeit goods.

That was part of an agreement reached by the two companies that have agreed to exchange information and work with law enforcement agencies to crack down on the sale of counterfeit products from the conglomerate's brands.

“The new partnership represents a milestone in both parties’ investment and efforts to protect our brands’ intellectual property rights,” a joint statement said yesterday.

Kering and its brands will continue to vigorously enforce their intellectual property rights against individuals and third parties responsible for the production, distribution and sale of unauthorized materials in China and throughout the world.

The lawsuit was filed by Kering in New York in 2015, suing Alibaba for knowingly encouraging and profiting from the sale of counterfeit goods on its e-commerce platforms.

Alibaba has been  seeking to leverage technology capabilities to identify merchants selling counterfeit goods and help brands to take down know-off sellers.

It has also been calling on China’s top lawmakers to hand out tougher prison sentences and penalties on counterfeiters.

A joint task force was also set up by the e-commerce giant and a number of provincial and municipal governments include those in Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Anhui, Jiangxi, Hainan, Guangdong, Fujian, Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan, Guangxi and Hunan, and Shanghai  in a bid to track down IP infringers offline.

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