Notorious Markets for IPR Infringing Goods Listed in Annual USTR Report
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative released March 5 the results of its Special 301 out-of-cycle review of notorious markets for 2014. This review identifies dozens of physical and online marketplaces that reportedly engage in and facilitate substantial copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting. Markets on this year’s list are hosted or located in Argentina, Brazil, the British Virgin Islands, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Ecuador, France, India, Indonesia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Russia, San Marino, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Uruguay and Vietnam.
USTR states that in 2014 some of the online markets previously listed undertook various measures that demonstrated a willingness to cooperate in addressing infringement, some closed or experienced disruption as a result of enforcement efforts, and others were the subject of significant domestic and international law enforcement efforts. Additional positive developments in 2014 took the form of policy and commercial initiatives as governments and businesses worldwide looked for ways to address copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting. While some markets have thus been removed from the list this year, USTR continues to monitor these markets, which may be re-listed if there is a change in circumstances; e.g., if a website that ceased to operate as a result of enforcement or other action resumes its unauthorized activities or the corrective actions that merited removal prove inadequate or short-lived.
USTR notes that inclusion on the Notorious Markets List does not reflect a finding of a violation of law or the U.S. government’s analysis of the general IPR protection and enforcement climate in the country concerned, which is presented in the annual Special 301 report issued at the end of April. However, the U.S. does urge responsible authorities to intensify efforts to combat piracy and counterfeiting in these and similar markets and to use the information contained in this review to pursue legal actions where appropriate.