The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has released the findings of its 2020 Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy report (the Notorious Markets List), which highlights online and physical markets that reportedly engage in or facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy.
“Holding intellectual property rights violators accountable and ensuring that American innovators and creators have a full and fair opportunity to use and profit from their work is critical for both physical and online markets,” said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
The 2020 report includes for the first time a section addressing the role of Internet platforms in facilitating the importation of counterfeit and pirated goods into the United States. “Today, the greatest risk of importation of counterfeit and pirated goods, harming both U.S. content creators and U.S. consumers, is posed not by foreign flea markets and dark web sites but by inadequate policies and inadequate action by e-commerce companies that market and sell foreign products to American consumers,” stated Ambassador Lighthizer. “Combatting piracy and counterfeits will require sustained effort by both the federal government and by companies that profit from the sale of such goods.”
In addition to addressing the role of e-commerce in facilitating the sale of pirated and counterfeit goods, the 2020 Notorious Markets report identifies 39 online markets and 34 physical markets that are reported to engage in or facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy. This activity harms the American economy by undermining the innovation and intellectual property rights of U.S. IP owners in foreign markets, and it harms American consumers as well. An estimated 2.5 percent, or nearly half a trillion dollars’ worth, of imports worldwide are counterfeit and pirated products.
USTR initiated this Review on October 1, 2020, through publication in the Federal Register of a request for public comments. The request for comments and the public’s responses are online at www.regulations.gov, Docket number USTR-2020-0035.
To read the 2020 Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy, click here.