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AAFA calls for new transparent anti-counterfeiting measures from Alibaba

Jul 21, 2015 United States
AAFA calls for new transparent anti-counterfeiting measures from Alibaba
According to the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) the request follows years of unproductive conversations with the Alibaba Group
“We are asking for Alibaba to begin addressing counterfeits in a manner that is transparent, comprehensible, and fast. We are asking for Alibaba to create a process whereby Alibaba removes counterfeits quickly at the request of certified brands”, AAFA President and CEO Juanita Duggan said in a letter addressed to Alibaba Executive Chairman Jack Ma.

The AAFA proposed plan outlines four key elements: easy brand certification; brand-controlled “take-downs” (process in which a counterfeit product is removed from a site); brand-approved sales and a transparent verification process.

AAFA’s president added that the system in place by Alibaba is very slow and unclear, claiming that the important thing is to ensure that counterfeits on the sites are permanently removed, which according to her is not happening right now. AAFA is also calling for an independent verification process.

Last April, AAFA sent letters to the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Office of the United States Trade Representatives calling attention to the “sluggish or non-existent” implementation of updated take-down procedures.

AAFA represents more than 1 000 clothing, shoe and lifestyle brands. Over the last four years, AAFA claims to have been engaged in on-going conversations with Alibaba representatives on the problem of counterfeits on its Taobao site without seeing much progress. The same source estimates that the total impact of intellectual property (IP) theft on the US fashion industry totaled 68 billion US dollars in 2013.

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