By Linda Spencer
Alibaba staff from the company’s U.S. and Chinese offices (pictured is Stephanie Yu from the company’s office in Hangzhou, China) conducted a hands-on workshop at the recent SEMA Export Fair on how to use China’s mega e-commerce site’s intellectual property platform. The session provided participants with a step-by-step guide on how to actively monitor Alibaba (or its Tencent sister website) to search for and submit requests for the removal of products from vendors that are infringing on a rights holder’s trademark, copyright and/or patents. Alibaba will shortly publish a handbook outlining these steps. SEMA has received advanced copies, which are being made available to members.
An advanced copy of a new handbook created by Alibaba with the steps to take if you see unauthorized versions of your products in their mega online mall is available through SEMA, courtesy of Alibaba. Sign up to receive a copy of the handbook.
Additional Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Resources
To help members navigate IP issues, SEMA maintains informational materials online and staff is available year-round to help answer IP-related questions.
The federal government also has a handy website listing best practices for companies to protect their IP abroad. Included on the comprehensive site is an online course and a list of upcoming events.
Ultimately, companies may need legal counsel outside of SEMA and the U.S. government to represent your interests and advise on specifics, but both SEMA and the U.S. government are available to provide information and help guide members in the right direction.