U.S. Names IP Infringing Sites in Notorious Markets List
The United States Trade Office recently released its annual Out-Of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets. The list contains 25 online and 15 physical marketplaces around the world that are engaging in or facilitating intellectual property infringement. This year, the Notorious Markets List maintained its focus on the distribution of pirated content and the sale of counterfeit goods online. Aside from detailing which sites are engaged in IP infringements, the U.S. Trade Report also calls on e-commerce retailers to improve take down procedures and preventative measures, with the goal being to limit the prevalence of counterfeit goods on their sites.
The trade of counterfeit goods is detrimental to the American economy. Counterfeit goods undermine the intellectual property rights of owners and therefore decrease the incentive for innovation. It is estimated that imports of counterfeit goods are worth nearly half a trillion dollars per year, or 2.5% of global imports. The majority of counterfeit goods sold in the United States are produced abroad and imported through smuggling rings or disguised as name brand products. The goods are produced in countries where the ability to enforce IP laws is relatively low, particularly China and Southeast Asia. As these countries continue to lack the judicial willpower to enforce IP laws, it is imperative that the United States takes the necessary steps to stop these products from infiltrating the American economy.
Publishing of the Notorious Markets List is a key move for disclosing which markets and sites are infringing upon intellectual property rights. This will help brands be on the lookout for lower quality versions of their products potentially being sold in these markets. It will also help consumers by allowing them to make an informed decision about whether they are buying an authentic product or not if they are visiting one of these listed marketplaces.
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