14 February 2014
“Trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy on a commercial scale cause significant financial losses for rights holders and legitimate businesses,” the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) asserts in a new report that identifies select online and physical marketplaces that engage in and facilitate substantial piracy and counterfeiting.
USTR Michael Froman announced February 12 the findings of the 2013 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets, which identifies markets around the world that harm businesses and undermine workers through the infringement of intellectual property rights (IPR).
The annual review identifies both online and physical marketplaces engaging in commercial-scale IPR infringement. Publication of this report helps the United States and its trade partners prioritize enforcement of the intellectual property rights that protect job-supporting innovation and creativity around the world.
“According to a U.S. Commerce Department study released in 2012, America’s innovative and creative industries support roughly $775 billion in merchandise exports annually and 40 million jobs here at home,” Froman said. “The markets we have identified unfairly take from these American workers, diminishing the value and salability of their work and threatening their jobs. And some of the counterfeit goods sold in the identified physical markets, from medicines and personal care products to automotive parts, can even threaten the health and safety of consumers. The marketplaces identified here warrant the immediate attention of our trading partners.”
The 2013 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets identifies particularly infamous markets but does not constitute an exhaustive list of all markets dealing in pirated or counterfeit goods around the world.
It also does not reflect the United States’ analysis of the general IPR protection and enforcement climate in the country concerned. That analysis is contained in the annual Special 301 Report issued at the end of April each year.
However, the United States urges the responsible authorities to intensify efforts to combat piracy and counterfeiting, and to use the information contained in the notorious markets review to pursue legal actions where appropriate.
The full report, which includes examples of previously identified notorious markets that have taken meaningful steps to address piracy and counterfeiting, is available on the USTR website.
USTR has identified notorious markets in the reports since 2006. In 2010, USTR announced that it would begin to publish the notorious markets list separately from the Special 301 Report to increase public awareness and guide related trade and other enforcement actions.
USTR published the first stand-alone notorious markets list in February 2011 as an Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets, and has published a list every year since.
The February 12 announcement concludes the 2013 out-of-cycle notorious markets review initiated on September 20, 2013, through publication in the Federal Register of a request for public comments.
The list was developed by U.S. government agencies represented on the USTR-chaired Special 301 Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee.