USTR Releases 2018 Report on IP Protection and Review of Notorious Markets
Last 25 April 2019, the Office of the United States Trade Representative released its 2018 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets which underscores online and physical markets reported to facilitate piracy and counterfeiting. It identifies entities that have inadequate protection for IP rightsholders, as well as new technologies, obfuscation methods, and revenue models linked to infringement. A reported half a trillion US dollars of pirated and counterfeit products are traded globally each year – 2.5% of total global imports.
The Report identifies a growing concern for consumer-to-consumer platforms, calling on platform owners to take proactive measures to reduce counterfeiting and working with law enforcement to identify violators. It strongly encourages online marketplaces to set forth effective policies for takedown measures, allowing rightsholders to enforce their IP rights with ease. Governments and other stakeholders are also recommended to pursue appropriate action against the owners and operators of these marketplaces while ensuring that enforcement tools are easily at the disposal of IP rightsholders.
The online marketplaces that are reported to facilitate a large volume of counterfeits are Bulakpak, Carousell, DHGate, Pinduoduo, Shopee, Taobao, and Tokopedia. Online marketplaces reported to still have ineffective mechanisms for IP rightsholders are Bulakpak, Carousell, Pinduoduo, Shopee, Taobao, and Tokopedia.
The report particularly calls for the protection of small to medium-sized businesses who rely on online marketplaces for the sale of their genuine products