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Luxury Brands Bring Suit against Alibaba

Saturday, November, 21, 2015

The luxury brands, including Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and others that are suing the Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., a Chinese e-commerce company, have asked that a US judge to no longer mediate the case after the owner of Alibaba was quoted as saying he would rather lose than settle.


The lawsuit began when the luxury brands accused Alibaba of being a giant conduit for counterfeiters and alleged the company knowingly made it possible for criminals to sell fake products with their luxury brand labels and logos.


Alibaba’s executive chairman, Jack Ma, was recently interviewed by Forbes magazine and admitted he had no intention of settling. He was willing to lose the case and lose money, believing that would help his company gain its dignity and respect.


The plaintiffs were bothered by the comment, especially since it had been Alibaba that requested mediation in the case. They now believe the request was not made in good faith and was used as a delay tactic and to force the plaintiffs to use resources toward mediation. Now, the plaintiffs are uncomfortable pursuing mediation, though they are still hopeful it could be possible in the future, as long as comments are not made publicly and the details of the mediation remain confidential.


For years, Alibaba has been accused of selling counterfeit products that interfere with copyright laws on its e-commerce website. The company claims to be constantly improving its monitoring and enforcement against counterfeit products, but many people agree this is not the case.