Washington, January 31
IndiaMART, one of India’s largest e-commerce websites, along with four physical markets in Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Mumbai, have featured in the latest annual edition of the US Notorious Markets list.
Released by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Tuesday, the 2022 Notorious Marketplaces List identifies 39 online marketplaces and 33 physical marketplaces that allegedly engage in or facilitate significant trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy.
The Indian markets on the list are IndiaMART, Heera Panna in Mumbai, Kidderpore in Kolkata, Sadar Patrappa Road Market in Bengaluru and Tank Road in Delhi.
“The widespread trade in counterfeit and pirated goods harms the economic security of American workers and undermines our work to develop fair and inclusive trade policy,” said USTR Katherine Tai.
“The Notorious Markets List is an important tool that urges the private sector and our trading partners to take action against these harmful practices,” she added.
According to the USTR report, IndiaMART is a high-volume e-commerce website and mobile application that connects buyers with suppliers. It describes itself as the largest online business-to-business marketplace in India.
Regarding positive steps taken over the past year, a rights holder reported that IndiaMART has cooperated in engaging and improving complaint response times. However, counterfeit products on the e-commerce site, including pharmaceuticals, electronics and apparel, remain a serious concern for other rights holders, according to the USTR report.
Rightsholders dispute that the e-commerce site has adequately engaged with them and implemented anti-counterfeiting best practices, including seller verification, penalties against known sellers of counterfeit products, or proactive monitoring of counterfeit products. Its claim about the responsiveness of its notice-and-takedown system has also been called into question.
A major covered market in the heart of Mumbai, Heera Panna is said to offer counterfeit watches, shoes, electronics, accessories and cosmetics.
“Rights holders warn that counterfeit cosmetics sold in this market pose health and safety risks,” the report said.
Known locally in Kolkata as “Fancy Market”, Kidderpore contains stores that are said to sell various counterfeit and pirated goods including clothing, cosmetics, electronics, optical media and software.
According to the report, the roadside market of Sadar Patrappa (SP) in Bangalore is flagged by rights holders as a “hot spot” for a wide variety of counterfeit electronic goods, attracting a large number of locals and tourists.
It was found that the market had many brokers loitering and attracting customers. Despite a raid on counterfeits in this market in early 2022, law enforcement efforts by local authorities have been insufficient to encourage its improvement, according to the report.
The report, citing the rightholders, says Tank Road, New Delhi’s market, continues to sell counterfeit goods, including clothes, shoes, watches, handbags, electronics and beauty products. .
Wholesale counterfeit goods are said to be supplied from this market to other Indian markets including Gaffar Market and Ajmal Khan Road.
According to the rights holders, the local police carried out some law enforcement actions, but these efforts were insufficient to significantly reduce the sales of counterfeits in the market, according to the report.
The USTR is a US government agency responsible for developing and promoting US trade policy.
It first identified notorious markets in the 301 Special Report in 2006. It has published the list of notorious markets every year since February 2011, separately from the 301 Special Report, to raise public awareness and help market operators and governments to prioritize intellectual property enforcement efforts that protect American businesses and their workers.