Matthew Bassiur, vice president and head of global intellectual-property enforcement at Alibaba Group, won the “Luxury Law Innovator in IP Rights and Technology” award at the Luxury Law Summit in London on Tuesday.
The Luxury Law Summit, held annually in London, brings together over 300 leaders and executives from luxury brands, including Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Gucci, Chanel, Prada, and Tiffany, and luxury conglomerates, such as Richemont, Kering and LVMH, according to Luxury Law Alliance CEO Mary Heaney. The Luxury Law Awards recognize leaders in the practice of luxury law and, in the case of Bassiur, “extraordinary leadership in IP protection on an international level and his many accomplishments throughout a distinguished career in both the government and private sectors,” said Fred Mostert, president of the Luxury Law Alliance, which presides over the awards.
Alibaba has significantly improved its standing within the international community, Mostert said, adding that Alibaba over the past three years has gone from being criticized for its efforts in IP protection to being viewed as a leader and innovator in the field.
“I’m honored to receive this prestigious award representing Alibaba, and we thank the Luxury Law Alliance for its recognition of our IPR protection efforts,” Bassiur said. “Through meaningful collaboration and continuous innovation, we are achieving great success together with industry stakeholders. We have come far, but there is still much to do. We are all part of the solution and our past accomplishments in IPR protection are just the beginning.”
The award comes less than a week after the Alibaba Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance held its annual spring meeting in Shanghai, where it offered an updated look at the successes the alliance saw last year.
In 2018, the criminal investigations led by the alliance’s member brands and Alibaba resulted in the arrest of 1,277 suspects and the shutdown of 524 manufacturing and distribution locations, which yielded counterfeit product seizures that totaled $536.2 million (RMB 3.6 billion). Alibaba also noted that 97% of all takedown requests were processed in 24 hours during business days for AACA members as a result of extensive cooperation within the group.
Launched in January 2017, the 30 founding members of the organization have since grown to 132 brand owners in 12 industry categories, including globally recognized names such as Louis Vuitton, Honda, Samsung and Mars. Seventy percent of members are based outside of China. Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Fossil, Siemens, Dyson, Kohler, and Coach are among the brand owners to join in 2019.
Alibaba and the AACA brands leverage their industry expertise and the latest anti-counterfeiting technology for IP protection efforts on Alibaba’s platforms through key initiatives including proactive monitoring, product authentication, offline enforcement, civil litigation, employee training, law enforcement exchanges, policy study, prevention of counter-notice abuses, and the Lazada IP Protection program.
AACA members are divided into 12 industry working groups to allow for better information-sharing within their sectors. There’s also an AACA advisory board through which members provide feedback in areas such as IPR enforcement-related strategies, policies and procedures, as well as new industry trends and platform practices in e-commerce.
“Alibaba has grabbed the flag on IPR protection and is running with it,” American Apparel & Footwear Association President and CEO Rick Helfenbein said. “We greatly appreciate their close collaboration, congratulate Matthew, and thank the entire Alibaba team for their continued efforts.”
The AACA is one of Alibaba’s many initiatives with various stakeholders focused on IP protection on its platforms. The company employs a multi-pronged approach to brand protection that includes using technology to proactively take down infringing items and streamlining its Intellectual Property Protection online platform, which simplifies reporting by brands and rights holders of possible fake listings to Alibaba. The company collaborates with law enforcement offline to root out fakes and bad actors at their source, as well as lobbies authorities in China to tighten laws and stiffen penalties to deter or punish counterfeiters. And Alibaba actively sues bad actors, pursuing civil penalties through the courts to send a message and discourage recidivism.
Additional support for Bassiur and Alibaba’s IP protection work:
“Matthew has demonstrated proven leadership and sincere partnership in the fight against Intellectual Property Crime. We commend his significant efforts and those of Alibaba, in this important field.” – Detective Superintendent Peter Ratcliffe, head of Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, City of London Police.
“On behalf of The Toy Association and its member companies, I’d like to congratulate Matthew on this well-deserved award. Matthew has been a critical partner for toy companies’ ongoing brand-protection efforts on Alibaba’s platforms. His collaborative approach and leadership has helped to lay the foundation to make a meaningful difference in our industry’s efforts to eliminate unsafe, counterfeit toys from being sold online. We look forward to continuing to work with Matthew and Alibaba to achieve this shared objective.” – The Toy Association Executive Vice President for External Affairs Edward Desmond
“We congratulate Matthew and recognize the Alibaba team for their highly cooperative and proactive approach to IPR enforcement. Alibaba has shown a real commitment to protecting rights holders of all sizes, to include SMEs.” – ANDEMA Director General José Antonio Moreno
“Matthew successfully leverages his government and private sector background to advance IP rights. During his tenure at Alibaba, we have enjoyed increased levels of meaningful collaboration.” – Chris Vansteenkiste, head of Intellectual Property Crime Coordinated Coalition (IPC3)
“The Automotive Anti-Counterfeiting Council would like to congratulate Matthew Bassiur as the recipient of the distinguished Innovator in Intellectual Property Rights and Technology award. Matthew has demonstrated a consistent willingness to listen to the issues affecting our industry and recognizes our concerns. He understands the threat that counterfeit auto parts pose to public health and safety, and has worked hard to advocate positive changes that begin to address the dangers of these parts being sold on ecommerce platforms. We value the constructive relationship that he has helped to foster, and the working partnership that he has facilitated between A2C2 and Alibaba.” – Automotive Anti-Counterfeiting Council President Joseph Cammiso