Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and other luxury brands suing Alibaba Group Holding Ltd for promoting the sale of counterfeit goods will resort to mediation, backing away from a threat to withdraw from the process after Alibaba founder Jack Ma said that he would rather lose the case than settle.
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.
The brands, which also include Balenciaga and Bottega Veneta, had accused the world's largest online retailer of trademark infringement for letting 31 companies sell knockoff goods, damaging their sales and reputation.
One example cited in the lawsuit was a bogus "high quality leather" tote bag offered for $2 to $5 that resembled a real Gucci bag costing $795. The lawsuit sought a halt to counterfeit sales, plus triple and punitive damages.