|By Business Wire||
|September 10, 2012 12:27 AM EDT||
A panel of thought-leaders, led by Global CEO of Export Now and former U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce and former U.S. Ambassador to Singapore Frank Lavin, explored the friction between innovation and intellectual property protection in the context of small business brand growth in China at Alibaba Group’s annual e-commerce summit in Hangzhou, China.
“Ideas and innovation are the culmination of creativity across different societies. The question of when an idea is new, when it is borrowed or adapted is one that can lead to greater cooperation or greater friction,” said Lavin. “One solution to easing tensions is discussion and education, and that’s what debates like this one will hopefully accomplish.”
On September 8-9, Alibaba Group hosted entrepreneurs and small business leaders from around the world at the 2012 AliFest e-commerce conference in China. The theme this year was “The Power of Netrepreneurs: The Path of E-commerce.” The conference featured the 9th annual Netrepreneur Summit, where attendees had opportunities to share experience and best practices through seminars and dialogue as well as listen to world-class business leaders discuss key issues driving e-commerce.
During the summit, Lavin and a group of prominent industry experts tackled timely issues around how small businesses can innovate while developing and defending a brand in the global marketplace. Intellectual property protection and its implications for global trade and sustainable growth were the main focus of the discussion. There was a lively discussion around the role that China will play as its small businesses become more aware of intellectual property protection and more sophisticated in protecting their own brand and that of others.
Joining Lavin on the panel were the following business leaders and industry experts:
- Michael Ellis, President and Managing Director, Asia-Pacific, Motion Picture Association (MPA), which represents the six major Hollywood studios;
- Jack Chang, Chairman, Quality Brands Protection Committee (QBPC) and Senior Intellectual Property Counsel for General Electric Asia; and
- Yuxiang Zhang, Chairman, Nanjiren (Shanghai) Knitwear Technology Co., Ltd.
Chang approached intellectual property from a social responsibility perspective, calling on all Chinese businesses to take responsibility for their actions and protect all brands – theirs and those of others. “As a nation, we must change our awareness of intellectual property rights. In the past, some Chinese entrepreneurs have mistakenly ignored intellectual property because their resources were limited and we must change that mindset,” he says. “Build your own brand name, respect that of others and encourage other brands to do the same.”
Summing up the impact of brand protection for all business owners, quoting former President of the Motion Picture Association of America Jack Valenti, Ellis concluded: "If you don't protect what you own, you own nothing."
As part of its on-going commitment to intellectual property protection, Alibaba Group’s Taobao Marketplace (Taobao.com), a popular online retail platform in China, and the Motion Picture Association (MPA), on September 7 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote a healthier online environment in China for the sale and distribution of legitimate audio-visual content.
Taobao and the MPA reached a common understanding regarding the importance of strengthening existing standards, regulatory mechanisms and mutual responsibilities for the identification and removal of counterfeit copies of MPA-member company content from Taobao.com’s consumer-targeted e-commerce platform.
The parties hailed the MOU as a significant step toward promotion of the legitimate sale and distribution of brands on international e-commerce marketplaces.
About the Netrepreneur Summit at AliFest
The Netrepreneur Summit is the highlight of the annual AliFest e-commerce conference hosted by Alibaba Group in Hangzhou. Frank Lavin’s appearance at the Netrepreneur Summit continues Alibaba Group’s tradition of bringing together small businessmen and leading global thought leaders. Previous speakers at Alibaba Group’s annual event include former U.S. President Bill Clinton, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Starbuck’s CEO Howard Schultz, Lenovo Chairman Liu Chuanzhi, and Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant.
About Alibaba Group
Alibaba Group is a family of Internet-based services with a mission to make it easy to do business anywhere. Since it was founded in 1999, the China-based Alibaba Group has grown to include the following core businesses: Alibaba International Business Operations, which operates a global e-commerce platform for small businesses; Alibaba Small Business Operations, a provider of e-commerce solutions for Chinese small businesses; Taobao Marketplace, China's popular C2C online shopping destination; Tmall.com, a B2C online marketplace in China for quality, brand name goods; Juhuasuan, a group shopping platform; eTao, a comprehensive shopping search engine; Alibaba Cloud Computing, a developer of advanced distributed cloud computing services; and China Yahoo!, one of the longest-serving Internet portals in China. Alipay, a commonly used third-party online payment service in China, is an affiliate of Alibaba Group.
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