IPR Protection—Foundation for E-commerce Development
With the popularization of mobile Internet, E-commerce platforms have become new engines for economic development and made China the No.1 online retailer in the world. Recently, the 618 shopping spree directed people’s attention to E-commerce intellectual property protection.
E-commerce platforms make it easier for consumers to buy a lot of products, but at the same time, make intellectual property protection more complicated. Data from an E-commerce platform shows more than 30 million pieces of goods shipped everyday, a total of over 1.5 billion pieces of goods stocked, and above 10 million complaints from rights owners and more than 1 million reports from consumers every year. Data provided by courts also demonstrates that about 28 million first instances of civil cases concerning intellectual property rights were accepted in local people’s courts across China in 2018, an increase of 40.97% year-on-year. Under such a circumstance, it is imperative to fight against the sale of fake products on E-commerce platforms in accordance with law and protect legitimate rights and interests of consumers. This is both necessary for intellectual property rights owners to protect their brands and profits, and wise for E-commerce platforms to gain a foothold in markets.
Numerous information on the Internet and countless products on E-commerce platforms provide a hotbed for counterfeit products. However, the use of new technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence and blockchain can identify certified and fake products more precisely than offline entities and immediately crack down on shops selling counterfeit products. An E-commerce platform, for instance, leverages anti-forgery blockchain technology, which covers more than 12,000 kinds of products of over 400 brands, and puts more than 1 billion pieces of product data onto the blockchain. Such technologies have effectively narrowed space for fake products.
To crack down on counterfeit products on E-commerce platforms requires a governance model of “technology empowerment + public participation”. With the help of new technologies, E-commerce platforms in China can effectively reduce cost of IPR protection, mitigate infringement risks and raise public awareness of IPR protection. In practice, 13 provinces from Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region, Yangtze River Delta and Pan-Pearl River Delta have jointly launched the “cloud-sword alliance”, which initiated a new model of government-enterprise cooperation and O2O coordination and greatly improved market environment of these regions.
Practical progress in IPR protection has become a core competitiveness of the E-commerce industry. In recent years, E-commerce platforms in China have launched both online and offline campaign to fight against counterfeit products, so as to protect legitimate rights and interests of rights owners and consumers. This has helped deter infringers and criminals, solve many long-standing problems in this field, and improve the negative image of China’s E-commerce platforms in the international community. Meanwhile, thanks to the development of cross-border E-commerce, the close cooperation between E-commerce platforms in China and international organizations and rights owners has clamped down on cross-border cases of manufacturing and selling counterfeit products from overseas countries to China, which was acclaimed by the international community.
July 27, 2019
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