Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and other luxury brands owned by Kering that are suing Alibaba Group will resort to mediation, in an attempt to settle the suit, in which the brands have accused the Chinese e-commerce giant of failing to cut down on the sale of counterfeits on its platform. The brands owned by Paris-based Kering SA accepted U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel’s request that they try to resolve their differences through a mediator, their lawyer Robert Weigel said in a letter filed on late on Wednesday in a Manhattan federal court.
In his letter to the judge, Mr. Weigel stated: “We are hopeful that is the case here,” and that the Kering brands will “proceed in good faith” to mediation. Weigel also called the matter a “test case” that could change the behavior of Hangzhou, China-based Alibaba toward “tens of thousands” of sellers of alleged knockoffs on its platforms. Alibaba spokesman Bob Christie said the company welcomed the brands’ decision to “pursue good faith mediation as a constructive means of exploring a path of cooperation – rather than litigation – in the fight against counterfeiting.”