In the latest release of the annual Notorious Markets List by the US Trade Representatives, three Indian markets, including one in New Delhi, alongside three online platforms, have gained recognition for their involvement in trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy. This list, which features 39 online markets and 33 physical markets globally, sheds light on the detrimental impact of counterfeit and pirated goods on workers, consumers, and businesses.
The three Indian markets highlighted in the report are Heera Panna in Mumbai, Tank Road in Karol Bagh, New Delhi, and Sadar Patrappa Road Market in Bengaluru. The online platforms from India that made it to the list include IndiaMart, Vegamovies, and WHMCS Smarters. This acknowledgment underscores the significance of robust enforcement against the trade of counterfeit goods to safeguard economies.
US Trade Representative Katherine Tai emphasized the adverse effects of counterfeit trade on the economy, stating that it harms workers, consumers, and small businesses. The 2023 Notorious Markets List serves as a reminder of the potential dangers associated with counterfeit goods and the necessity for stringent enforcement measures.
The report also points out China's consistent presence as the leading source of counterfeit products globally. Notable online markets such as Taobao, WeChat, DHGate, Pinduoduo, and the cloud storage service Baidu Wangpan continue to be identified for their involvement in trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy. Additionally, seven physical markets in China known for manufacturing, distributing, and selling counterfeit goods are listed.
China's dominance in the production of counterfeit products is evident, with 60% of the value of seized counterfeit goods by US Customs and Border Protection in 2022 attributed to products originating from China, including trans-shipped goods from China to Hong Kong.
As the end of COVID-19 restrictions leads to increased foot traffic in physical markets, the report highlights a resurgence in counterfeit sales. Sellers of counterfeit merchandise are utilizing brick-and-mortar storefronts for customer interactions, product testing, and online sales fulfillment. Authorities targeting online counterfeit goods often discover links to vendors with a presence in physical markets.
The USTR urges China to adapt and expand the scope of robust enforcement actions to address the evolving nature of counterfeit sales at physical markets, emphasizing specific key markets for targeted intervention. The annual Notorious Markets List, separate from the Special 301 Report since February 2011, aims to raise public awareness and guide market operators and governments in prioritizing intellectual property enforcement efforts to protect workers and businesses.
(With Agency Inputs)