Palika Bazaar, IndiaMart and 2 others included in USTR’s Notorious Markets list
What is the USTR?
USTR stands for Office of the United States Trade Representative. The USTR office was established in 1962. It is an organization that advises the President on various matters relating to trade internationally. Also helps the government to develop policies for these issues. It has its offices in Washington, Geneva and Brussels.
What is a notorious market?
A notorious market is considered a place where trademark and copyright infringement takes place on a massive scale. It can be a virtual market like a website or a physical market. A list of notorious markets around the world is created by the USTR and the International Intellectual Property Alliance. This list releases various markets around the world where copyright and/or trademark infringement takes place.
What is a trademark or copyright?
A mark can be either a wordmark or a design or any symbol or word that differentiates the products of one company from another. Trademark and copyright are not similar concepts.
Copyright is an artistic work, it is an original work of art. It can be literary, dramatic or musical works like a song, book, poem, film, etc. Copyright or trademark infringement occurs when someone’s trademark/copyright is used or copied without their permission. The trademark and copyright are intellectual properties.
The Office of the USTR has released its 2021 review of notorious markets for counterfeiting and piracy. This list identifies 42 online marketplaces and 35 physical marketplaces allegedly engaged in counterfeiting activities. The first USTR report was published in 2006 and this list is the most recent.
This list includes Heera Panna, Mumbai, this market is known to sell counterfeit watches, cosmetics, etc. Kidderpore, Kolkata, this market is known for selling fake brand name clothes and cosmetics. Palika Bazaar, New Delhi, this market is known for selling fake clothes, glasses, cosmetics, etc. brand. Tank Road, Delhi is known for selling fake clothes, shoes, handbags, watches, cosmetics and electronics.
With this allegation of selling counterfeit goods at Palika bazaar, traders in this market have expressed their displeasure about it. Also stating that the Indian government should come to their defense to protect them from false claims.
The president of the association Palika Bazaar came forward to talk about it. According to him, the products that are sold in this market come from other countries and nowhere is it claimed that they are original products. They are just sold at reasonable price and no warranty certificate is provided for the same. He said calling these products counterfeit is defamatory.
When they spoke to merchants, they said they even pay Goods and Services Tax (GST) on these products.
This report also mentioned online platforms that sell or deal in counterfeit products. IndiaMart is a website and also has an app, it claims to be the second largest B2B platform in India that connects suppliers and buyers.
According to this report, IndiaMart is engaged in the sale of counterfeit pharmaceuticals, clothes and shoes. According to the report, IndiaMart has failed to implement anti-counterfeiting policies or remove known sellers of counterfeit products or any type of vendor verification. IndiaMart has a notice and take down system which is not used to the best of its effectiveness and is a very time consuming process.
IndiaMart suffered a loss of reputation after being included in this list.
In response to that, “It’s a B2B platform, which means it’s just an SEO platform, and “It is not a question of selling and buying any product but not limited to the sale of counterfeit products. Our complaints redress system is robust and efficient which allows users to submit complaints through the website and instead of such complaints redress is forwarded to said advertiser for due diligence” said IndiaMart.
IndiaMart said it “generally acts voluntarily on complaint without even insisting on court orders in the event of infringement of a complainant’s intellectual property rights. »
IndiaMart is a B2B platform that connects manufacturers and buyers. The founders of this website are Dinesh and Brijesh Aggarwal and were founded in 1996.
“Global Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods Undermines Critical U.S. Innovation and Creativity and Harms American Workerssaid Ambassador Katherine Tai. “This illicit trade also increases the vulnerability of workers involved in the manufacture of counterfeit products to abusive labor practices, and counterfeit products can pose significant health and safety risks to consumers and workers worldwide..”
Apart from mentioning these four markets, this list also mentioned that India has banned various websites such as TamilRockers, Tamilblasters, TamilMV, Fmovies and Uploaded because all these websites violate copyright of movies, web series and TV shows.
Apart from these, this list mentioned WeChat and AliExpress, both of which are China-based online websites to sell counterfeit products in the list for the first time.
This notorious list only mentions marketplaces that deal with trademarks and copyrights and does not give any suggestions on what should be done. That decision is left to the country as to how they wish to proceed. India now has the opportunity to review the mentioned markets and act accordingly.