Kering files lawsuit against Alibaba
Kering, French luxury goods holding company and owner of the world's best-known luxury brands, filed a case against Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. The lawsuit has been filed on Friday in federal court in Manhattan. The fashion companies that filed the lawsuit include Gucci, Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent and brands owned by Pierre Bergé headquartered Kering.
According to the lawsuit, the company is displeased with popular web platform Alibaba's efforts to deal with the problem of counterfeiting of its brands. The lawsuit claimed that the Hangzhou, Zhejiang, headquartered Alibaba and its associated companies intentionally did not stop the sale of counterfeits on their online platforms. A copy of the lawsuit was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
While defending itself against the charges, Alibaba stated that the complaint by the fashion company did not have basis. According to the company, it has a strong track record of helping brands fight counterfeits. In a statement, spokesman of Alibaba said, “Unfortunately, Kering Group has chosen the path of wasteful litigation instead of the path of constructive cooperation. We believe this complaint has no basis and we will fight it vigorously”.
This is not the first time, when Alibaba, which provides consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer and business-to-business sales services, has been sued by Kering's brands. Before this, the web shop company received legal notice from Kering's brands in July 2014. That time, the brands filed lawsuit against the company, but later withdrew it. The previous lawsuit was filed few times before Alibaba launched its initial public offering in the United States.
Earlier, Alibaba and Kering had released a statement where they said that they would work together to decrease the counterfeiting of Kering's brands. According to the brands, Alibaba’s previous claims in last July were now being reasserted.