The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has released its 2023 report on notorious markets, which identifies 39 online markets and 33 physical markets around the world that reportedly engage in, facilitate, turn a blind eye to, or benefit from substantial copyright piracy or trademark counterfeiting. USTR notes that this list does not constitute an exhaustive list of all markets reported to deal in or facilitate commercial-scale copyright piracy or trademark counterfeiting, nor does it reflect findings of legal violations or the U.S. government’s analysis of the general IPR protection and enforcement climate in the countries concerned.
Reflecting the Biden administration’s focus on a worker-centered trade policy, this year’s report includes a section examining the potential health and safety risks posed by counterfeit goods, including toys and other children’s products, car parts, electronics, pharmaceuticals and other medical supplies, personal care products, and apparel and footwear. It describes how counterfeit goods are often made of lower-quality materials and are manufactured outside of regulatory oversight or product safety controls, leading to substandard, ineffective, and often dangerous products. That section also identifies a need for more effective criminal and border enforcement against the production, import, export, and distribution of counterfeit goods.
The report continues to highlight concerns with various China-based e-commerce and social commerce markets and cloud storage services. At the same time, it does note some positive developments over the past year in addressing the widespread availability of counterfeit and pirated goods in some online and physical markets.
- There have been several successful enforcement efforts focused on online piracy markets, including wholesale pirate stream suppliers and resellers of pirate-enabled Internet Protocol television applications and physical illicit streaming devices
- Several countries have significantly stepped-up enforcement efforts and coordination with right holders to effectively reduce counterfeit activity at physical markets, including Chile, France, and the United Kingdom
- Several studies have addressed global trade in counterfeit and pirated goods, including a study that polled over 13,000 consumers from 17 countries regarding their perceptions and behaviors as they relate to buying counterfeit products online
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