At its "brand rights holders day" in Beijing, the Alibaba Group unveiled enhancements to its Intellectual Property Protection platform. In the first month since the “express” technology enhancements were made, almost all cases submitted by rights holders were handled and closed within 24 hours, claimed the Chinese company. Bike companies are among thousands to be impacted by the selling of fake items, as recounted in the 20-part series of "Faking It" articles on BikeBiz.
Alibaba’s IP Protection Platform is used by brands and IP owners to flag and request the take down of counterfeit or IP-infringing product listings.
The platform inludes automated complaints-processing, analysis, and a product-authentication system powered by new algorithms and data models. The company has also hired more staff to combat the proliferation of fakes.
Alibaba now stresses it has optimised brand-protection technological capabilities, including multi-lingual trademark-recognition and improved search engine optimization for easier discovery of and access to the IPP platform.
Of the complaints received by Alibaba, 96 percent are now handled and closed within 24 hours, claimed the company. 83 percent of the listings were also taken down. The remaining 17 percent were left online for reasons such as insufficient evidence to prove infringement or a mismatch between the complained listing and IP documents filed.
“Brand trust is core to our mission,” said Jessie Zheng, Alibaba’s chief platform governance officer. “Our enhanced platform, along with significant progress in other important initiatives all showcase the industry best practices Alibaba is creating for the benefit of all our stakeholders.”
Earlier this year Alibaba created the Alibaba Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance, a collaboration between Alibaba and 30 international and Chinese brands that leverages big data and the latest technologies to enable a cooperative, global, 24-hour anti-counterfeiting network.
Via “Cloud Sword Alliance,” a partnership with provincial governments of 13 Chinese provinces, Alibaba is now providing law-enforcement bodies with data to track down and prosecute criminal rings and activities. The technology behind Cloud Sword is able to track not just illegal transactions, but also trace them upstream to the production source.
Since last year, Alibaba has focused on cracking down on merchants who attempt to mislead consumers through misappropriation of branded keywords in the titles of product listings. Alibaba continues to use advanced algorithms to identify, block and remove them and root out repeat offenders, said the company.
The BikeBiz "Faking It" series is an in-depth investigation into the shady world of counterfeit bicycles, fake parts, and knock-off clothing. It took three months to research and write and has been widely praised in the industry.
Calling it "essential reading" Simon MacMichael of Road.cc said the series was the "most in-depth analysis of the nature, extent and impact of counterfeiting on the bicycle industry we’ve seen to date."
"Excellent articles," wrote Josh Hon, CEO of Tern Bicycles of Taiwan, on Facebook, adding "I'm even learning some stuff."
Victor Major of Taiwan's high-end Velocite carbon bike brand said the series was a "true epic."
"It's like binge viewing on Netflix," suggested Mark Alker, publisher of Singletrack Magazine. "Why wait for each article when you can plough through the entire box set in one go." He added that the all-in-one-go publication of the 20 articles and in multiple formats was "very on-trend journalism."
The 25,000-word series takes a while to read so, for offline convenience, can also be found on a PDF, a Kindle file, an eBook and a Word document.