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How to Protect Your Intellectual Property on Alibaba Group E-commerce Sites

How to Protect Your Intellectual Property on Alibaba Group E-commerce Sites

Alibaba Group has five e-commerce platforms: Taobao, Tmall, 1688.com, AliExpress and Alibaba.com. The first three are targeting the Chinese market, while AliExpress and Alibaba.com are internationally-oriented.

As far as IP protection goes, all five Alibaba Group’s e-commerce platforms use the group’s IPP Platform for intellectual property protection and enforcement.

IP Protection Platform

Under the new e-commerce law that took effect in January 2019, e-commerce platform operators have a duty to protect intellectual property rights. But even before the new law, Alibaba had established its consolidated IP protection platform. This platform is used to launch IPR complaints for all of Alibaba Group’s e-commerce platforms, as well as process takedown requests from IP right holders.

A right holder or its agent, such as its online brand protection company, can submit a complaint on Alibaba’s IPP platform regarding IP infringements of their brand, such as counterfeit products and trademark abuse, as well as copyright and patent infringements.

If you’re a right holder who wishes to register a complaint, you must first register for an account on the IPP Platform. There, you must start with proof of identity either as an individual (for example, passport or driver’s license) or an entity (such as a business registration certification or license). Then, you must provide proof of IP ownership and its validity, such as a copy of the IP certificate. Also, you must provide the hyperlinks of the infringing listings. These requirements are not always easy to fulfill.


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Chinese Law

This is especially true since Alibaba follows Chinese law. For Taobao, Tmall and 1688.com, the IP rights must be valid in China. Regarding AliExpress and Alibaba.com, IP rights outside of China can be used to file a complaint. However, in China, the rights to a copyright or trademark are granted to the first party to register the intellectual property right with the state, called first-to-file, rather than first-to-use. This often makes it necessary for foreign right holders to file for intellectual property rights in China, since even in cases where they already have a registered trademark or copyright in the United States or another country, other parties can be the first-to-file in China. Therefore, companies need to examine the situation carefully to make sure they have intellectual property protection in China.

Submitting a Complaint

After establishing your account on the IPP platform, you are free to submit your complaint or multiple complaints.

A complaint may be rejected for different reasons. The seller or any other responsible party can respond and object. Other reasons for rejection may prove difficult to avoid. For example, a complaint should specify the IP right the covers the infringement. IP rights in China are divided into classes and it is important to select the correct class in order to not be rejected.

Alibaba’s Good Faith Program

The Good Faith Program, launched in 2018, is designed to help rights-holders that have a good history of valid complaints submitted trough the IPP platform protect their intellectual property online.

Rights-holders that have proved to be careful and responsible, can join the program which will help to speed up the takedown process in future complaints.

Wiser Market Online Brand Protection

Continually protecting your intellectual property rights is daunting in its complexity and scale. If you’re asking yourself how to protect your intellectual property online, Wiser Market’s cutting-edge technology and dedicated team is the answer.

Finding all cases of IP rights infringements on multiple platforms and listings is a task for the Wiser Market algorithm.

Our system continuously scans online channels, detecting every relevant reference to your brand, and then analyzing it. Our team of experts implements professional expertise to ensure each infringement is categorized and removed quickly and efficiently on Alibaba Group’s sites as well as all other online channels.


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