Fashion group wins US court order against vendors selling fake goods on Alibaba website
The Kering Group’s fashion companies – including Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent – have won their legal battle to bar vendors from selling counterfeit versions of their luxury goods on Alibaba’s websites. The Kering companies were granted a court order restraining the vendors’ activities by a US District Court yesterday (13 August).
According to sources, the vendors involved included Brand Bag Boutique, Yun Mi’s Store, Kou Kou Dai (Buckle and Pocket), Europe and E News, Picasso Trend, Lehui Textile Behalf and Amy Luxury Goods. The lawsuit alleged that Alibaba facilitated the sales of illegal goods.
U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel also ordered that financial records be turned over to Kering.
Kering alleged that knock-off bags bearing a Gucci trademark had been sold on an Alibaba website for as little as US$2 each, whereas the authentic item (made to a much higher standard) was priced at US$795.
While Alibaba may not appreciate the adverse publicity that the court order will attract, it will welcome the opportunity to draw a line under this case. As part of its long-term strategy to “globalize” its business, the company has been courting the support of international manufacturers – particularly in the fashion industry – and it has indicated that it is prepared to come down hard in cases where vendors are found to be selling counterfeit goods on its platforms.