LONDON, June 28 (Xinhua) -- Alibaba's international collaboration with intellectual property (IP) external stakeholders, combined with its advanced technologies has achieved remarkable results, Matthew Bassiur, vice president and head of global IP enforcement at the Alibaba Group, told Xinhua in a recent interview.
Bassiur noted that Alibaba Group's IP enforcement is cemented in collaboration.
"Collaboration with all external stakeholders is what we have really made a very concerted effort in advancing over the past few years." he said, adding that they are "constantly involved and in very closely working relationships with governments throughout Europe, Asia as well as in the U.S.."
Bassiur took Britain as an example, and said, "We work with UK government authorities on cross-border investigations into individuals trafficking in counterfeit goods. We also partner with them to ensure that pirate sites do not receive our advertising dollars to build their revenue."
Alibaba's Business and IPR (Intellectual Property Right) Protection Summit, co-hosted with government agencies, industry associations and academic institutions, was held in London earlier this month, bringing together external stakeholders to engage in IP protection.
"We held a similar conference in Madrid, Spain in January. And we'll be holding these events in other European countries, and also in the U.S.." he said.
Bassiur stressed that Alibaba Group has three core pillars of the IP enforcement program. The first pillar is the Notice and Takedown system, which is the standard approach for right holders to report suspected IP infringement.
According to Alibaba's Intellectual Property Rights Protection Annual Report for 2018, 96 percent of removal requests submitted through its IP Protection Platform during business days were processed within the first 24 hours of submission and the number of listings removed in response to consumer reports of suspected counterfeits dropped 70 percent year-on-year.
The second pillar is Proactive Monitoring, which Bassiur said employed advanced technologies, including complex algorithms, to identify potentially problematic seller listings.
"In 2018, 67 percent fewer suspected listings were identified for proactive removal," he said, "Our proactive efforts didn't find as many suspected IP infringing listings."
"Actually, that's what Alibaba excels in - leveraging advanced technologies and data analytics." he added, "in a digital economy, counterfeiters are able to reach a much larger audience online very quickly than if they were utilizing traditional offline methods."
The third pillar is Alibaba's Offline Enforcement.
"I would call it offline investigations and enforcement." He explained, it refers to targeting the source of counterfeit goods, such as the manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors.
In 2018, Alibaba reported 1,634 IP-related leads to law enforcement resulting in 1,953 arrests.
"I'm not aware of any other e-commerce company in the world that has as robust offline investigation program as Alibaba." said Bassiur, who was a prosecutor for 11 years on both the state and federal levels in the U.S..
Although Alibaba has still found itself on the U.S. Trade Representative's (USTR) annual "notorious markets" list and the company doesn't agree with that decision, Bassiur said "Alibaba would continue to work closely with the U.S. government agencies like the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)."
In response to USTR's decision, Bassiur noted that "not one rights holder, nor any association, asked or requested that Alibaba be included on the 'Notorious Markets' List."
"Alibaba doesn't do things because of a report or a submission. We take action because it's the right thing to do." Bassiur continued, "We're going to continue with our IP initiatives and programs to ensure that we have and maintain a leadership role in IP protection."
"Counterfeits are a cancer within the system," he added, "we're much better off, and a much healthier ecosystem without counterfeits."