March 12, 2018

IP Strategies for online marketplaces

Tmall, the largest online trading platform that Alibaba has developed for its Chinese customers, represents a great opportunity for European companies and for Spanish companies, in particular.

E-commerce represents a great opportunity for those companies, especially SMEs, that have no physical presence in China; a huge market where half of consumers choose the Internet as the preferred means to make their shopping. The most appreciated European products by Chinese consumers are those of the cosmetic and fashion sector.

On the other side of the coin of this business opportunity are the potential risks associated with the counterfeiting and piracy of brands and products offered online. For this reason, Alibaba has developed blockchain technology and artificial intelligence to track and verify the authenticity of the luxury products offered on its platform. These measures are aimed at protecting the IP rights of companies that have their online store on this platform as well as domestic customers eager to acquire luxury products made in Europe.

These efforts of the Chinese internet giant to combat piracy and the commercialization of counterfeit products are part of the initiatives developed under the Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance that Alibaba has formed together with companies such as Luis Vuitton, Samsung and Mars, and with which Several Chinese government agencies are collaborating, sharing information on counterfeit products to facilitate their identification and destruction.

Thus, establishing an adequate protection of industrial property rights, especially regarding trademarks and designs in China, is a priority for those companies that want to ensure that the business opportunity represented by the Chinese market does not become a risk in the form of economic losses and brand image impairment.