IndiaMart.com, Palika Bazaar and 3 other Indian markets are on the US Notorious Markets List for counterfeiting and copyright piracy

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India’s popular e-commerce site IndiaMart.com and four other markets, including New Delhi’s famous Palika Bazaar, feature in the latest annual list of the world’s most notorious markets, published by the US Trade Representative.

The 2021 Notorious Markets List, released Thursday, identifies 42 online and 35 physical markets around the world that are reported to be engaging in or facilitating significant counterfeiting or copyright piracy.

The three other Indian markets in the list are Heera Panna in Mumbai, Kidderpore in Kolkata and Tank Road in Delhi.

“The global trade in counterfeit and pirated goods undermines critical US innovation and creativity and harms American workers,” said US Trade Representative Katherine Tai.

“This illicit trade also increases the vulnerability of workers involved in the manufacture of counterfeit goods to exploitative labor practices, and the counterfeit goods can pose significant risks to the health and safety of consumers and workers around the world,” she said.

The USTR report states that IndiaMART, an e-commerce website and mobile app that connects buyers with suppliers, calls itself the world’s second largest online business-to-business market. Counterfeit goods are said to be found in large quantities on IndiaMART, including counterfeit pharmaceuticals, electronics and clothing.

Rightsholders are concerned about IndiaMART’s failure to adequately implement anti-counterfeiting best practices, including seller verification, penalties against known sellers of counterfeit goods, or proactive monitoring of infringing goods.

IndiaMART appears to have a notification and takedown system, but rightsholders report that it is cumbersome to use, the time to takedown is slow, and the status of notifications is not transparently communicated to rightsholders, the report said.

According to USTR, Heera Panna, a large indoor market in the heart of Mumbai, reportedly offers fake watches, shoes, accessories and cosmetics. Rights holders warn that counterfeit cosmetics sold in this market pose health and safety risks. A September 2021 raid on Heera Panna led to arrests for selling counterfeit versions of premium watches.

Known locally as the “Fancy Market,” Kidderpore reportedly sells counterfeit clothing and cosmetics, often in wholesale quantities. Severe skin problems, rashes, irritation and eye diseases were reportedly caused due to the poor quality of the fakes, the report said.

Palika Bazaar remains on the Notorious Market List (NML) in 2021. This underground market in Delhi is apparently known for trading counterfeit products such as cell phone accessories, cosmetics, watches and glasses.

Many buyers are said to be students and other young people who want trendy products at great prices. The market is also a popular destination for tourists, the report said.

Rights holders report that counterfeit products including clothing, shoes, watches, handbags, electronics and beauty products continue to be sold at Delhi’s Tank Road wholesale market. Fake wholesale goods are also reportedly being shipped from this market to other Indian markets including Gaffar Market and Ajmal Khan Road, the report said.

“Rightholders are finding that conducting enforcement action at this location is challenging as the market is in a residential area and vendors often appear to have advanced knowledge of raids, which limits their effectiveness,” it said.

USTR is a US government agency responsible for developing and promoting US trade policy.

USTR first identified notorious markets in the Special 301 Report in 2006. Since February 2011, USTR has annually published the Notorious Markets List separately from the Special 301 Report to raise public awareness and assist market operators and governments in their efforts to enforce intellectual property, who prioritize protecting American businesses and their workers.

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