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The European Commission (EC) recently published the first Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List, which identifies marketplaces, registrars and hosting providers located outside the EU that facilitate counterfeiting and piracy.

The list has been made after a public consultation. The majority of respondents were businesses and brand owners, associations representing right holders and associations fighting against IP infringements. Individuals, law firms, chambers of commerce and brand protection companies also sent their contributions.

Marketplaces have been grouped on the basis of the business model and type of technology they use to distribute goods and services. Service providers facilitating Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) infringements have been categorised on the basis of the nature of service they provide to facilitate the distribution of goods and services (i.e. hosting provider, advertising agency, domain name registrar).

The Watch List has been divided into four chapters that reflect the different marketplace and service provider types.

  • The first chapter refers to online marketplaces offering content protected by copyright and services providers that facilitate access to such content.
  • The second chapter is on e-commerce platforms that facilitate the sales of physical products in an online environment (be it business-to-business, business-to-consumer or consumer-to-consumer sales).
  • The third chapter is dedicated specifically to illicit online pharmacies. These platforms offer for sale all kinds of medicines and arrange their delivery to consumers. Due to the major health risks to EU consumers involved, the marketplaces that are reportedly often visited by EU consumers have been identified.
  • Finally, the fourth chapter is focused on the most prominent physical marketplaces since, despite the growing significance of online trade, the sales of counterfeit goods directly to consumers continue to be very important throughout the world. All in all, physical marketplaces located in Argentina, Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam are identified on the Watch List.

The Watch List will be updated regularly by the EC services, which will also monitor the measures and actions taken by the local authorities in relation to the listed marketplaces as well as the measures and actions taken by the operators and marketplace owners to control and try to hold back IPR infringements.

For more information, please follow the following link: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2018/december/tradoc_157564.pdf

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