State piracy crackdown bears fruit

State piracy crackdown bears fruit

Notorious market list excludes Thais

Counterfeit goods seized by the Intellectual Property Department and related agencies are destroyed.
Counterfeit goods seized by the Intellectual Property Department and related agencies are destroyed.

The government's continued efforts to crack down on counterfeit and pirated goods has yielded fruit as the latest findings of the US's 2020 Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy has not identified any notorious markets in Thailand that engage in selling counterfeit and pirated goods.

Vuttikrai Leewiraphan, director-general of the Intellectual Property Department, said this offers a good sign for Thailand that there were no Thai commercial areas or shopping malls listed in the US's Notorious Markets List after the government has strenuously attempted to continue a crackdown on intellectual property violations.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released on Jan 14 the findings of its 2020 Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy (Notorious Markets List), which highlights online and physical markets that reportedly engage in or facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy.

The 2020 report includes for the first time a section addressing the role of internet platforms in facilitating the importation of counterfeit and pirated goods into the United States.

In addition to addressing the role of e-commerce in facilitating the sale of pirated and counterfeit goods, the 2020 Notorious Markets report identifies 39 online markets and 34 physical markets that allegedly engage in or facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy.

This activity harms the US economy by undermining the innovation and intellectual property rights of US IP owners in foreign markets, and it harms American consumers as well. An estimated 2.5%, or nearly half a trillion dollars' worth, of imports worldwide are counterfeit and pirated products, the report said.

In 2019, only Patpong market, a popular night market in Bangkok, was identified in the US Notorious Markets List.

According to Mr Vuttikrai, despite decreasing sales of counterfeit and pirated products in Thailand, the department and related government agencies remain committed to continuing enforcement efforts to prevent further harm to legitimate right holders.

State officials have been closely working with the private sector to monitor intellectual property infringements in various commercial areas both in Bangkok and the provinces in order to prevent illegal products from reaching the market.

The department has been accelerating measures to prevent curb and suppress the sale of products that violate intellectual property rights.

As parts of the efforts, the department on Jan 11 signed a memorandum of understanding with e-commerce firms including Shopee, Lazada, JD Central and owners of intellectual property rights to combat online infringements.

The move aims to curb online infringements that may create adverse effects for economic growth, trade and investment while lowering consumer trust in the online trading system.

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