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Palika Bazaar, IndiaMart, and 2 others included in USTR Notorious Markets List

Palika Bazaar, IndiaMart, and 2 others included in USTR Notorious Markets List

What is USTR?

USTR stands for the Office of United States Trade Representative. The office of USTR was established in 1962. It is an organization that advises the President on various trade-related issues on an international basis. Also helps the government in making policies for these issues. It has its offices in Washington, Geneva, and Brussels.

What is a Notorious Market?

A notorious market is considered to be a place where trademark and copyright infringement takes place at a large scale. It can either be a virtual market like a website or a physical market. A list of notorious markets throughout the world is created by USTR and International Intellectual Property Alliance. This list releases various markets across the globe where copyright and/or trademark infringement takes place.

What is a trademark or copyright?

A trademark can either be a wordmark or a design or any symbol or a word that differentiates the products of one company in comparison with another. Trademark and copyright are not similar concepts.

Copyright is an artistic work, it is an original piece of art. It can be literary, dramatic, or musical works like a song, book, poem, movie, etc. Copyright or trademark infringement happens when someone’s trademark/copyright is used or copied without their permission. Both trademark and copyright are intellectual properties.

Palika Bazaar

The Office of USTR has released its 2021 review of Notorious Markets for counterfeiting and piracy. This list identifies 42 online and 35 physical markets that are said to be engaged in the activities of infringement. USTR’s first report was released in 2006 and this list is the most recent.

This list includes Heera Panna, Mumbai, this market is known for selling counterfeit watches, cosmetics, etc. Kidderpore, Kolkata, this market is known for selling fake branded apparel and cosmetics. Palika Bazaar, New Delhi, this market is known for selling fake branded apparel, eyewear, cosmetics, etc. Tank Road, Delhi, is known for selling fake clothing, footwear, handbags, watches, cosmetics, and electronics.

With this allegation of selling fake products at Palika Bazaar, the traders in this market conveyed their dissatisfaction on this. Also stating that the government of India should come forward in their defense to safeguard them from the fake allegations.

The President of the Palika Bazaar Association came forward to talk about this. According to him the products that are sold in this market are from other countries and it is nowhere claimed to be original products. They are just sold at a reasonable price and no warranty certificates are provided for the same. He stated that to call these products counterfeit is defamatory.

When talked to the shopkeepers they said that they even pay Goods and Services Tax (GST) on these products.

Heera panna shopping centre at Haji Ali - YouTube

This report also mentioned online platforms that are engaged in selling or dealing with counterfeit goods. IndiaMart is a website and also has an app, it claims to be the second-largest business-to-business platform in India that connects suppliers and buyers.

According to this report, IndiaMart is engaged in selling fake pharmaceuticals, clothing, and footwear. According to the report, IndiaMart has failed to implement anti-counterfeiting policies or takedown known sellers of fake goods or any kind of supplier verification. IndiaMart has a notice and takedown system which is not being used to the best of its efficiency and is a very lengthy process.

IndiaMart suffered a loss of reputation after it was included in this list.

In a reply to this, “It is a B2B platform, which means it is only a listing platform, and “there is no question of sales and purchase of any product but not limited to the sale of counterfeit products. Our grievance redressal system is robust and efficient, which allows users to send complaints via the website and in lieu of such complaints the redressal is forwarded to the said advertiser for diligence” stated IndiaMart.

IndiaMart stated that it “voluntarily acts generally upon complaint without even insisting on court orders in case of violation of any 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 was founded in 1996.

The global trade in counterfeit and pirated goods undermines critical U.S. innovation and creativity and harms American workers,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai.  “This illicit trade also increases the vulnerability of workers involved in the manufacturing of counterfeit goods to exploitative labour practices, and the counterfeit goods can pose significant risks to the health and safety of consumers and workers around the world.”

Along with mentioning these four market places this list also mentioned that India had banned various websites like TamilRockers, Tamilblasters, TamilMV, Fmovies, and Uploaded as all these websites were engaged in copyright infringement of movies, web series, and TV shows.

IndiaMART InterMESH Q3FY22 Results: Consolidated profits decline 12.46% to  Rs 70.20 crore

Other than these this list mentioned WeChat and AliExpress both of these are China-based online websites for selling fake products in the list for the first time.

This Notorious list only mentions such marketplaces that are engaged in trademark and copyright and does not give any suggestions as to what should be done. This decision is left on the country as to how they want to proceed further. India now has the option to look into the marketplaces mentioned and act accordingly.

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