2018 Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets: Maus Frères targets Facebook, iOffer, and Mercadolibre

Every year, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) collects a list of the most notorious online and physical counterfeit spots that are outside US borders. (Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets). For example, the 2017 report mentions, inter alia, the following marketplaces: DHGhate.com (China), Indiamart.com (India), Taobao.com (China), Vkontakte.com (Russia), and the shopping mall called “Pacific Mall” in Markham, Ontario, Canada (iptwins.com, 1st Oct. 2018). As part of the 2018  Comment Request from the USTRMaus Frères, owner of Lacoste, Aigle, and Gant, shared its experience in a letter to the USTR on October 17, 2018.
That said, the Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets does not concern US companies. Accordingly, there will be no mention of eBay (although the US authorities regularly perform actions on counterfeit cases in relation with sales on eBay: iptwins.com, June 25, 2018; iptwins.com, August 27, 2018), SunFrog.com (the platform was recently condemned to nearly $ 20 million for counterfeiting: iptwins.com, June 27, 2018), or even Amazon.com.
Never mind, the Maus Frères company, in a fair try to break down the barriers, reports two US companies: Facebook.com and iOffer.com.
Concerning Facebook, Maus Frères regrets a “Large number of Lacoste look-alike pages, using our trademarks, logos and images without authorization“. For example, Maus Frères ensures that, “Based on a visual analysis of the first 100 posts when searching “Lacoste bag”, 84% of posts were offering counterfeit bags for sale“. Maus Frères is tormented by the lack of proactive measures by Facebook to prevent the sale of counterfeit goods. In addition, suspended accounts would reappear under a similar name. Finally, Maus Frères is concerned about the possibility for counterfeiters of posting sales offers in private groups without being worried.
Maus Frères also targets iOffer. According to Maus Frères, the situation is worrying. In a large volume, 100% of the “so-called” Lacoste goods were considered counterfeit. Maus Frères regrets that sellers can register easily and that no procedure has been implemented to prevent counterfeiters from reoffending. According to the Swiss group, the vast majority of sellers are from China.
Finally, Maus Frères refers to the Mercadolibre platform, in all its extensions: .ar (Argentina), .bo (Bolivia), .br (Brazil), .cl (Colombia), .com.co (Colombia), .co.cr (Costa Rica), .do (Dominican Republic), .ec (Ecuador), .gt (Guatemala), .hn (Honduras), .mx (Mexico), .ni (Nicaragua), .com.pa (Panama), .com.py (Paraguay), .com.pe (Peru), .com.sv (El Salvador), .com.uy (Uruguay), and .com.ve (Venezuela). Again, Maus Frères reports a very large number of counterfeit goods: “Based on a visual analysis of the first 100 Lacoste listings: 92% were counterfeit products; 36% display the Lacoste logo in the search page thumbnail, 9% uses Lacoste copyrighted images“. Similarly, Maus Frères is having trouble preventing recidivism.
In a way, the report submitted by Maus Frères completes the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) report, which nominates three Amazon platforms (namely amazon.co.uk (United Kingdom), amazon.ca (Canada) and amazon.de (Germany)),  bukalapak.com, udaan.com, macyskorea.co.kr, and certain Shopee platforms (shopee.com.my, shopee.ph, shopee.co.th and shopee.co.id). (See iptwins.com, 19 Oct. 2018).

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