How does Alibaba prevent counterfeiting

Trademark infringements: AliExpress is liable as a disruptor

The courts regularly deal with the liability of online (trading) platforms for infringements by their users. In a judgment published by the Court of Appeal in September 2016, it had to decide on the liability of AliExpress for a trademark infringement committed on its online trading platform (KG, judgment of November 3, 2015 - Az. 5 U 29/14).

In the underlying case, a dealer also sold counterfeit branded perfumes to Germany on the Chinese Internet platform aliexpress.com. He used product photographs that clearly showed the brand name of the respective perfume and marked the offers with the note “This perfume is made in China, but the quality can be comparable with the authentic.” Or “Products are all made in China , but the quality is just the same as the authentic! ".

After the licensee of the brand in question, AliExpress, had repeatedly pointed out the trademark infringements of a seller, without any further infringements being prevented by AliExpress, the licensee directly claimed an omission from AliExpress.

The LG Berlin condemned AliExpress as requested. The appeal by AliExpress was rejected by the KG, since AliExpress was liable as a disruptor in the present case. In the case of trademark infringements, a claim can be made to cease and desist as a disruptor who - without being a perpetrator or participant - in any way deliberately and adequately causally contributes to the infringement of the protected legal interest. Since the interference liability may not be extended indefinitely to third parties who have not committed the legal violations complained about themselves, this is only applicable if the third party claimed for interference liability has violated appropriate inspection or monitoring obligations under the circumstances.

In the present case, AliExpress was advised of the seller's violations of the law four times without AliExpress taking any further targeted steps. The KG was of the opinion that the protective mechanisms offered by AliExpress, such as "AliProtect" or the "Three Times Your Money Back" measure, according to which the buyer should be compensated if the product he purchased turns out to be a fake, are not sufficient in the present case. if the seller makes it clear from the start that the perfumes offered are counterfeit.

Rather, in the opinion of KG AliExpress, in addition to the immediate blocking of the specific offers, further measures should have been taken to prevent further such violations of property rights. Due to the immediate promotion of the products on offer as counterfeits, AliExpress would have had to manually and closely monitor all future offers from this seller or, if this was not possible for reasons of capacity, would have had to exclude the seller from its platform without further delay .

We will be happy to advise you on questions about how to effectively combat trademark infringements on online trading platforms.