On Wednesday the US Office of the Trade Representative (USTR) published the findings of its Review of Notorious Markets for 2013. The Notorious Markets List identifies both online and physical marketplaces worldwide that engage in commercial-scale infringement of intellectual property rights. These marketplaces provide everything from pirated movies to counterfeit designer jeans.
Not only are these markets of substantial size and scope, but they are enormously popular, posing a serious threat to the American economy.
“The markets we have identified unfairly take from these American workers, diminishing the value and salability of their work and threatening their jobs,” said USTR Michael Froman in a statement. “And some of the counterfeit goods sold in the identified physical markets, from medicines and personal care products to automotive parts, can even threaten the health and safety of consumers.”
Counterfeiting, piracy, and other violations of intellectual property rights discourage American innovation and our ability to compete in the global marketplace. Although the USTR Notorious Markets List is not meant to be exhaustive, it’s a great place to start.