Press Release
December 18, 2015

USTR 2015 Counterfeit Markets Report Highlights Trademark Working Group Input

WASHINGTON (December 18, 2015) – On December 17, 2015, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) issued its annual report on “notorious” counterfeiting markets. Although emphasis in the report has shifted towards the online world, this year’s report included a number of “physical” marketplaces where counterfeit goods are rampant.

Much of the information regarding physical counterfeit goods markets echoed the submission made by the Trademark Working Group, based in Washington, D.C., and overseen by Holland & Knight partner Paul Kilmer.

“The members of the Trademark Working Group thank USTR for paying close attention to our submission and the concerns of the brand owners we represent, especially in relation to physical marketplaces where counterfeit goods are sold,” Kilmer said.

Physical markets for counterfeit goods identified in both the Trademark Working Group’s submission and USTR’s report include the Luohu Commercial Center in Shenzhen, China; Chenghai District, Shantou, China; Qi Pu Market, Shanghai, China; the Silk Market, Beijing, China; Computer Village, Ikeja, Nigeria; Oke-Arin & Apongbon Markets, Lagos, Nigeria; Ciudad del Este, Paraguay; 25 de Março, Sao Paulo, Brazil; La Salada, Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Tank Road, New Delhi, India.

USTR’s report notes that “physical markets . . . remain the primary distribution channel for counterfeit goods in much of the world.”

“We are gratified that USTR included in its report so many of the physical markets for counterfeit goods identified by the Trademark Working Group,” Kilmer indicated.

The USTR report also included the Trademark Working Group’s concerns regarding online counterfeits available over websites that are part of the Alibaba group in China, including Taobao.

The Trademark Working Group, which was formed in 2013, includes in-house counsel from Fortune 500 companies, certification mark owners and smaller companies with international business operations representing a broad range of industries and service sectors. The group’s goal is to collect information from U.S. businesses and law firms regarding trademark laws and practices of foreign nations that deny adequate and effective protection to trademark rights.

NOTE: Holland & Knight does not represent any of the entities mentioned in this press release.

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