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Snapdeal, 4 Indian shopping complexes in US Notorious Markets list

By Lalit K Jha
April 29, 2020 22:01 IST
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Other than Snapdeal, the four markets are Tank Road in Delhi, Heera Panna in Mumbai, Kidderpore in Kolkata and Millennium Centre in Aizawl.

Snapdeal, one of India's largest e-commerce platforms, is known as a place to purchase counterfeit watches and shoes.

Snapdeal, one of India's largest e-commerce companies, along with four Indian shopping complexes have figured in the US' 2020 edition of the Notorious Markets List for counterfeiting and piracy.

Other than Snapdeal, the four markets are Tank Road in Delhi, Heera Panna in Mumbai, Kidderpore in Kolkata and Millennium Centre in Aizawl.

 

In all, the US Trade Representatives' (USTR) annual list has 38 online markets and 34 physical markets that are reported to engage in or facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy.

"Snapdeal, one of India's largest e-commerce platforms, is known as a place to purchase counterfeit watches and shoes," the USTR said.

According to a November 2018 survey, 37 per cent of its customers reported that they had received a counterfeit product from Snapdeal.

Delhi's Tank Road market was in the Notorious Markets List (NML) in 2019.

"Right holders confirm that this market continues to sell counterfeit products, including apparel and footwear.

“Wholesale counterfeit goods are also reportedly supplied from this market to other Indian markets, including Gaffar Market and Ajmal Khan Road (in Delhi)," it said.

The wholesale vendors appear to operate freely, allowing them to build well-established businesses over many years, it said.

The five-storey Millennium Centre in Aizawl is a major market for goods produced in China, Korea, and Thailand, the USTR said.

The report notes that a majority of the clothing and electronic items found at this location are counterfeit, it added.

Heera Panna indoor market in Mumbai houses approximately 140 shops reportedly selling high-quality counterfeit watches, leather goods, shoes, consumer electronics, and cosmetics, the USTR said.

"According to right holders, intellectual property enforcement in this market is very difficult because the market and store owners are well-protected by local authorities and law enforcement," it said.

Locally known as "Fancy Market," Kidderpore reportedly sells counterfeit consumer electronics, apparel, cosmetics, and pirated software and media, often at wholesale quantities, the USTR said.

In its report, the USTR said that the activities of these 38 online markets and 34 physical markets harm the American economy by undermining the innovation and intellectual property rights of the US IP owners.

An estimated 2.5 per cent, or nearly half a trillion dollars' worth, of imports worldwide are counterfeit and pirated products, it said.

The review does not constitute an exhaustive list of all markets reported to deal in pirated or counterfeit goods around the world, nor does it reflect findings of legal violations or the US government's analysis of the general IP protection and enforcement climate in the country concerned, the USTR said.

Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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Lalit K Jha in Washington
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