E-commerce platforms, businesses join forces to tackle counterfeit product trade

Lazada will be sharing in the directory its best practices on issues such as infringement reporting on its platform. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - Lazada, AliExpress and tech company HP are among several online marketplaces and businesses in South-east Asia which have banded together to form the region's first e-commerce anti-counterfeiting consortium.

The South-east Asia e-Commerce Anti-Counterfeit Working Group was launched on Wednesday, during the annual IP Week at Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Singapore.

The consortium seeks to establish a set of best practices and standards on intellectual property (IP) rights protection in e-commerce.

Its members have also committed to collaborating with stakeholders to address trade in counterfeit goods in the online retail industry, and support each other in protecting IP rights and consumers.

The participating e-commerce platforms are Lazada, AliExpress, Carousell, WeChat, TikTok and Tokopedia.

Other consortium members include sportswear maker Puma, car maker BMW and consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble.

Law firm Robinson LLC is involved in coordinating efforts by members of the working group.

At Wednesday's launch, the consortium unveiled plans to develop an online directory, which will consolidate information about the various resources available on participating e-commerce platforms for IP rights owners to deter infringing activities.

The directory, which will be accessible at secagroup.org, will also serve as a platform to educate members of the public on IP rights protection.

For example, Lazada will be sharing in the directory its best practices on issues such as infringement reporting and removal mechanisms on its platform.

It will also be publishing its methods on building awareness on IP rights among its merchants, said the e-commerce platform in a statement on Wednesday.

Lazada said the idea for the consortium was first conceived last year during discussions between e-commerce platforms and IP rights owners - some of which are now members of the working group.

Mr Cyril Chua, managing partner of Robinson LLC, hopes the consortium's online directory will be a strong foundation for future developments in IP rights protection in the e-commerce industry, such as the adoption of voluntary standards.

"As e-commerce continues to be a key growth driver of the digital economy, businesses will need to pay more attention to IP rights protection and counterfeit trade issues," he said.

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