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Notorious Markets on Notice
Today, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) issued the 2015 Notorious Markets List, a product of USTR’s 2015 Out of Cycle Review of Notorious Markets. The List is a timely reminder to shoppers everywhere to be mindful of the prevalence of counterfeit, pirated, and illicit products when making all purchases, and of the importance not only of trusted brands but also trusted retailers.
With the holiday shopping season in full swing, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently warned consumers of the need for vigilance. At best, counterfeits typically represent a low-quality rip-off; at their worst, they can pose serious health and safety risks, containing malfunctioning components or toxic ingredients. Moreover, the markets that trade in such goods, including those offering pirated movies and music, pose their own dangers: credit card and other personal information is more likely to be sold or compromised, while online sites trading in counterfeit and pirated goods carry a far greater risk to shoppers’ cyber-security through exposure to malware and outright identity theft.
Working with USTR and other government agencies worldwide, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) and Global Brand Council (GBC) are putting counterfeiters and unscrupulous retailers on notice. Illicit trade in fake and counterfeit costs governments revenue, economies jobs, and shoppers their safety and security. Accordingly, GIPC and GBC are advocating for intellectual property policy and enforcement measures worldwide to put counterfeiters and pirates out of business and better regulate the markets that enable them. USTR’s Notorious Markets List is an important contribution to those efforts.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Patrick Kilbride is Executive Director of International IP Policy for the Global Intellectual Property Center.