Racketeering Charges In Luxury Brands’ Lawsuit Against Alibaba Dismissed

Image courtesy of Leon Lee

While a lawsuit filed against e-commerce platform Alibaba and 14 of its sellers by French luxury goods maker Kering continues, a federal judge has dismissed part of it. The judge has ruled that the parent company of Balenciaga, Gucci, Puma, and Saint Laurent failed to prove that Alibaba and its vendors worked together in an enterprise to sell knockoff designer goods at at super cheap prices. However, the allegations that the site allowed knockoff items to proliferate remain.

While the merchants may have been aware that others existed, Kering’s lawyers failed to prove that the platform and vendors, or even just all the vendors, were working together to rip off Kering’s brands.

“The fraud perpetrated by each merchant defendant could be accomplished without any assistance from any other merchant defendant,” Judge Kevin Castel wrote.

Alibaba continues to fight allegations that it’s a place where counterfeiters can easily set up shop and sell items for maybe 1% of the retail price of an original item, with handbags being a commonly copied item.

Companies refused to accept Alibaba as a member of an industry anti-counterfeiting coalition, even as the company claims to scan the site with the help of brand partners anad respond correctly to their requests to remove an item and ban the seller.

U.S. judge dismisses part of Alibaba counterfeit goods lawsuit [Reuters]