Alibaba has begun a crusade against firms abusing its intellectual property rights (IPR) complaint system, which was created to protect legitimate brands against counterfeits and knockoff products sold on the site but often used by unscrupulous entities to harass and even blackmail other sellers. Alibaba said that one out of every four trademark or copyright complaint they receive is submitted by “unscrupulous” companies that specialize in trademark squatting, often though forging credentials, the South China Morning Post reports. Their acts cost 1 million merchants over 107 million yuan ($15.6 million) last year. In one such case, an agent who had raced ahead of Nike Inc. to register one of the sportswear brand’s backpack logos in China submitted complaints against 2,000 merchandise listings with such a logo. The agent even challenged the authorized Nike shop on Tmall.
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