Counterfeiting is bad news for everyone, bar fraudsters. Consumers are exposed to inferior or dangerous products, brands lose their value and online platforms like Allegro risk their reputation as trustworthy marketplaces.
Although legal instruments to prevent IPR infringements, such as the IPR Enforcement and E-Commerce Directives, exist at EU/national level, they can be complemented by voluntary approaches such as direct cooperation between brands and online platforms in the fight against online counterfeiting. For this reason, 19 companies, including well-recognised Internet platforms like Allegro, Amazon, eBay and Alibaba signed a renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with large brands like Nike and Lacoste and trade associations such as AIM and BASCAP on 21 June. This strong show of unity and proactive initiative was endorsed by the European Commission, which reiterated during its IPR enforcement conference (where the MoU was signed) that a collaborative approach and practical solutions to IPR enforcement are essential in a fast-moving technological environment.
The MoU commits all signatories to key principles designed to decrease the online sales of counterfeit products in categories such as fashion, luxury goods, and sportswear. It is a positive and hugely significant step for all parties involved, who are united in their belief that self-regulation is a powerful tool to tackle IPR infringement. Moreover, the MoU echoes the EC’s Communication on online platforms, which encourages industry to take more voluntary actions. Voluntary cooperation avoids unnecessary red tape, and provides flexibility to adapt quickly to technological developments and deliver targeted solutions in real-time. It also enables easy sharing of information and best practices. Allegro engages in voluntary cooperation with brands not only at European level, but at national level as well, namely through the WOP (Współpraca w Ochronie Praw) program that facilitates cooperation with brand owners in order to eliminate illegal goods from the Allegro platform. Our next Rights Protection Cooperation Programme conference will be held on October 6, 2016 in Warsaw, Poland.
All parties are eager to ensure that the new MoU has a real impact, which is why its effectiveness will be measured by key performance indicators (KPIs), which were not included in the original MoU dating back to 2011. We are convinced that the data will show that cooperation between platforms and brand owners is alive and well.
The Allegro Group is committed to its efforts to ensure that its online platforms meet the highest quality, trust and safety standards. We could not operate our businesses as successfully as we do if consumers and merchants did not have confidence in them, and are proud to be part of this MoU!Daniela Borlea