STOPfakes News

OECD Study Highlights USD 451 Billion in Annual Trade in Counterfeit and Pirate Products Linked to Organized Crime and Terrorist Financing

April 14, 2016

The global trade in tangible counterfeit and pirate goods has risen in the last decade and now accounts for as much as USD 451 billion, according to a new study launched on April 18 by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EU-IPO). This illegal trade is equivalent to the GDP of Austria or the combined GDP of Ireland and the Czech Republic, or roughly equal to the revenues of one of America’s tech superstars.

Hong Kong, China and Turkey have been identified among the top three exporters of counterfeit products, while companies in OECD countries, notably the United States and EU countries (such as Italy, France, Germany and the United Kingdom), are the most affected.  The study concludes that “counterfeiting and piracy must be directly targeted as a threat to sustainable IP-based business models.” It links the revenues from the sale of counterfeit goods to organized crime networks and even to financing terrorist groups.

Follow the link below to the original report.

STOPfakes Announces Road Show in Newark, NJ, on November 5!

October 19, 2015

STOPfakes announces our next Road Show in Newark, NJ, on Thursday, November 5!  For more information and registration details, please click here.

2015 Notorious Markets Federal Register Notice

September 10, 2015

The 2015 Notorious Markets Federal Register Notice has been published and is available here.

The deadline for interested party submissions is Monday, October 5th, 2015 and Monday, October 12th, 2015 for rebuttal submissions.

STOPfakes Announces Road Show in Rockville, MD

September 9, 2015

STOPfakes will be hosting a Road Show in Rockville, MD on September 21, 2015!  For more information and registration details, click here.


U.S., China Unite to Fight Intellectual Property Theft

June 23, 2015

WASHINGTON – Representatives from U.S. and Chinese customs agencies strengthened relations Tuesday by signing an agreement to work together to combat violators of intellectual property rights law.

Bruce Foucart, director of the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), and Chen Xudong, director general of the General Administration of China Customs (GACC), signed an IPR addendum, which expanded on a memorandum of understanding the countries drafted in 2011 to collaborate on the enforcement of customs law. The original memorandum sought to enhance prosecutions and convictions and protect the economic, fiscal and commercial interests of each country.

“International collaborative law enforcement efforts are critical tools in preventing the importation and exportation of illegally trafficked goods that present threats to national security,” Foucart said. “Through this partnership with Chinese customs officials, we’ll be able to exchange ideas and implement best practices that could ultimately lead to the dismantling of transnational criminal organizations.”

This agreement will help both China and the U.S. combat IPR infringement by tracking IPR violations, sharing information and monitoring the illicit importation, exportation, or trafficking of counterfeit trademarked merchandise.

The two countries will share seizure information like commodity descriptions; quantities; values; dates of import/export; infringed trademarks; known manufacturers and shippers; container numbers; and other available information.

The U.S. and China are also set to conduct joint training operations targeting counterfeit products sent between the two countries that pose a health and safety risk. Representatives will increase the number of visits to each country’s ports; extend invitations to scheduled seminars related to IPR enforcement; and issue an IPR Center-developed curriculum and training guide for the GACC that focuses on how to successfully target intellectual property theft.

Although this addendum codifies the intent to conduct joint enforcement efforts going forward, the HSI offices in Beijing have successfully teamed with the GACC to conduct several outbound inspection operations targeting the illegal trafficking of counterfeit apparel and pharmaceuticals. These inspections have led to the seizure of more than 1,000 shipments, the arrests of two individuals and countless investigative leads.

Founded in 2000, the IPR Center is one of the U.S. government's key weapons in the fight against criminal counterfeiting and piracy. The center uses the expertise of its 23 member agencies to share information, develop initiatives, coordinate enforcement actions, and conduct investigations related to IP theft. Through this strategic interagency partnership, the IPR Center protects the public's health and safety, the U.S. economy and the war fighters.


The United States Signs Memorandum of Understanding on Intellectual Property Rights with the Government of Paraguay

June 18, 2015

 The United States and Paraguay signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on intellectual property rights (IPR) during today’s meeting of the United States-Paraguay Partnership Dialogue at the Department of State.  As part of the MOU, Paraguay has committed to take specific steps to improve its IPR protection and enforcement environment. Additionally, the MOU creates a bilateral partnership in which the United States intends to support Paraguay’s efforts to strengthen the legal protection and enforcement of IPR, including through the enhancement of creative and innovative industries, to promote Paraguay’s strategic priorities of growth and development. 

Deputy USTR Robert Holleyman said, “We are encouraged by the recent steps the Paraguayan government has taken to enhance administrative and border enforcement.  This MOU is an important step forward in the efforts to further improve IPR protection and enforcement in Paraguay.”

As a result of the MOU’s signing and the commitments Paraguay has assumed under the MOU to strengthen IPR protection and enforcement in Paraguay, USTR has removed Paraguay from the 2015 Special 301 Watch List pursuant to an Out-of-Cycle Review.


In early 1998, the United States designated Paraguay a Priority Foreign Country and initiated a Section 301 investigation of Paraguay to determine whether Paraguay’s acts, policies, and practices with respect to the protection and enforcement of IPR were unreasonable, discriminatory, and constituted a burden or restriction on U.S. commerce.  The United States subsequently concluded an IPR MOU with Paraguay in November 1998 to resolve the underlying IPR issues and suspended the Section 301 investigation.  The MOU was extended several times, renegotiated in 2008, and then extended again in 2009 and 2011.  The last MOU expired in April 2012.  When efforts to negotiate a new MOU were unsuccessful, the United States then placed Paraguay on the Special 301 Watch List.  MOU negotiations with Paraguay were re-launched in March 2014 with the support of President Horacio Cartes. 

During the past 18 months, the Government of Paraguay, primarily through DINAPI and partner law enforcement agencies, has stepped up its efforts to strengthen IPR protection and enforcement.  While the United States applauds Paraguay’s recent actions and its commitments under the MOU, we also recognize the need for coordinated and sustained efforts to resolve longstanding issues in the protection and enforcement of IPR in Paraguay, and we will be monitoring Paraguay’s progress in this regard.

U.S. Copyright Office Commemorates 225th Anniversary of the First Federal Copyright Act

June 1, 2015

Yesterday was the 225th anniversary of the nation’s first federal copyright law. It was enacted on May 31, 1790—less than two years after the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. It was signed into law by President George Washington and was one of the major accomplishments of the First Congress (along with legislation establishing the Department of State, the Department of the Treasury, and the federal judiciary, among other institutions).


The law was called “An Act for the encouragement of learning,” and it protected “maps, Charts, and books.” The decision to protect maps and charts indicates that the First Congress wanted to encourage exploration of the American continent, including its lakes, rivers, and harbors. The decision to protect books confirms that the First Congress also valued the creation and distribution of authorship, both for informational and artistic purposes. These objectives are reflected in the works that were registered in the first month after enactment, which included an atlas, a spelling book, a collection of court decisions, and a “comedy in five acts.”


The first federal copyright law established many of the fundamental principles that are a vital part of the law today. It stated that copyright initially belongs to the author—the person who conceived and created the work— rather than the publisher or the state. At the same time, it recognized that an author’s rights are not perpetual but instead should be limited in time. And it recognized that authors are part of a larger economic ecosystem, and that they often transfer their rights to publishers, retailers, or other parties. The first federal copyright law established the principle that authors should have rights to control the use of their works, such as how they are printed, reprinted, published, and sold. It recognized that authors should have meaningful remedies to encourage others to respect these rights and to provide appropriate compensation when those rights are infringed. And it recognized the central role a registration system plays in documenting a public record of creativity, ownership, term, and other legal facts.


Much has changed in the past 225 years. The copyright law today protects not only books, maps, and charts, but also movies, sound recordings, software, and other works that contribute to the knowledge economy and global marketplace. But the fundamental principles reflected in the first federal copyright law continue to inspire the Copyright Office in its work today.


Read the original copy of the law.


USPTO and KIPO Sign Memorandum of Cooperation for Collaborative Search Pilot

May 21, 2015

CONTACT: (Media Only) 
Patrick Ross or Paul Fucito
(571) 272-8400 sends e-mail) sends e-mail)

Washington - The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Korean Intellectual Property Office signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) on May 20, 2015, to begin a bilateral Collaboration Search Pilot (CSP) program. The MOC, signed at a bilateral meeting during the IP5 Heads Meeting in Suzhou, China, allows the two offices to share search information prior to a first office action. 

IP5 is the designation for the group of the five largest intellectual property offices in the world.  In addition to the USPTO and KIPO, members include the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), and the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO). 

The CSP is designed to provide patent applicants with the best prior art by combining the search expertise of both the USPTO and KIPO before examination of the patent application begins. This will enhance compact prosecution and improve patent quality. 

“The initiation of this Collaborative Search Pilot Program reflects the strong ties between the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the Korean Intellectual Property Office,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Michelle K. Lee. “Both of our offices are committed to improving the international patent system and this is yet another step in that direction.”

CSP processing in the USPTO will be based upon the Full First Action Interview (FAI) Pilot program ( that separates the initial search from substantive examination. The FAI program is designed to give applicants the examiner’s search results, followed by an optional interview, prior to full examination of the claims. In order to ensure the coordination of the search efforts between the Offices, the application will be accelerated in both offices.

"This memorandum reconfirms and further strengthens our commitment to the growing cooperative relationship between our two offices," said Deputy Under Secretary Of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office Russell Slifer.

The CSP with KIPO will allow for both offices to work in parallel and the USPTO will provide the two work products to the applicant upon receipt of the work from KIPO.  This will provide two independent views on the claims to help the applicant determine the next best steps in the prosecution of their application. 

The two offices will formally implement the CSP on Sept. 1. Further details of the program will be published in upcoming Federal Register notice and on the USPTO website.


IPR Center launches training to secure supply chains and combat counterfeit goods in the workplace

May 15, 2015

WASHINGTON – In an effort to bolster public education and private industry engagement regarding intellectual property crime, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) announced FREE training for acquisition professionals and the public on its website.

The training provides acquisition professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to combat the procurement of counterfeit goods in the workplace. The IPR Center’s new online training program for acquisition professionals will help companies secure their supply chains from counterfeit goods. By learning how to spot counterfeit goods and knowing what to do when these goods enter the supply chain, companies will better protect their consumers and ensure that the products they provide meet their standards. This acquisition training is a valuable tool for companies, state and local government officials, and anyone involved in the acquisition process. It can also serve to educate the public regarding the harms of purchasing counterfeit products.

Because of the systemic danger posed by counterfeiting and piracy, which the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has estimated to cost the global economy in excess of $250 billion per year and up to 750,000 American jobs, the IPR Center seeks to engage directly with public and private acquisition professionals to break the steady growth of trade in counterfeit goods. 

“Whether we’re discussing criminal organizations selling counterfeit medications and healthcare products, or batteries that could potentially overheat or explode, the end result remains the same; these are criminals that put profit ahead of the public interest,” said IPR Center Director Bruce Foucart. “This multi-dimensional threat requires a multi-dimensional response. No industry or country is immune from counterfeit products in their supply chain, nor can they address the threat alone. Only through increased cooperation among all those affected by counterfeits, as well as increased resources and improved tools can we tackle the growing and evolving nature of the threat. Furthermore, this threat also calls for better education regarding the risks it poses and how to defend against it.”

“The U.S. Chamber commends IPR Center Director Bruce Foucart and his team for its proactive approach to fighting counterfeits,” said David Hirschmann, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center. “It is important to give procurement professionals in both government and the private sector the tools to help identify counterfeit products and those who peddle counterfeit goods, and the IPR Center will help make this possible. By reducing the sale and use of counterfeit products, consumers, government workers, military personnel, and law enforcement officials will secure genuine items and be protected from dangerous fakes.”


USTR Releases 2015 Special 301 Report

April 30, 2015

Washington, D.C. – The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has released its annual “Special 301” Report on the adequacy and effectiveness of U.S. trading partners’ protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR). 

“Made-in-America exports are an essential source of economic growth and well-paying, Middle Class jobs in the United States,” said U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman. “American innovation and creativity are a cornerstone of our economic strength and competitiveness.  U.S. companies and workers generate many of the innovative breakthroughs that have saved and enriched lives in the United States and abroad. The content produced by America’s creative industries is enjoyed worldwide, and U.S. brands are among the most valued and trusted internationally.”

“Tens of millions of Americans owe their jobs to intellectual property-intensive industries.  Strong and balanced protection and enforcement of intellectual property are critical for promoting exports of U.S. innovative and creative goods and services, and sustaining those jobs here at home.  The Special 301 Report is an important tool – and a demonstration of this Administration’s resolve – to ensure that Americans can bring their inventions and creations to people all over the world without their work being infringed or misappropriated.”

Significant elements of the 2015 Special 301 Report include the following:

  • China remains on the Priority Watch List.  The Report draws attention to China’s wide-ranging intellectual property law reform effort and certain positive enforcement initiatives, but also to new and longstanding concerns about IPR protection and enforcement, including with respect to trade secret misappropriation and technology localization. Such new measures include conditioning market access on use of Chinese indigenous IPR, R&D being conducted in China, and the provision of source code to the Chinese Government.
  • The Report draws attention to the increased bilateral engagement in 2015 between the United States and India on IPR concerns, following the 2014 Out-of-Cycle Review of India on this issue.  India will remain on the Priority Watch List in 2015, but with the full expectation that the new channels for engagement created in the past year will bring about substantive and measurable improvements in India’s IPR regime for the benefit of a broad range of innovative and creative industries.  The United States has offered to work with India to achieve these goals.  We are not announcing another OCR at this time, but will monitor progress over the coming months, and are prepared to take further action, if necessary.
  • USTR also highlights serious and ongoing concerns with respect to the environment for IPR protection and enforcement in Turkey, Indonesia, Russia, Argentina and other markets. 
  • USTR announces that it will conduct Out-of-Cycle reviews to promote engagement and progress on IPR challenges identified in this year’s reviews of Honduras, Ecuador, Paraguay, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Spain.

The report also highlights progress made by our trading partners to resolve and address IPR issues of concern to the United States:

  • Italy implemented new regulations in 2014 to combat copyright piracy over the Internet, including by providing notice-and-takedown procedures that incorporate due process safeguards and establish a mechanism for addressing large-scale piracy. 
  • The Philippines carried out administrative enforcement reforms that have resulted in streamlined procedures, enhanced inter-agency cooperation, and more enforcement action, including increased seizures of pirated and counterfeit goods.
  • Denmark established a unit to be housed under the Danish Patent and Trademark Office that will assist in enforcement efforts by serving those consumers and businesses that have allegedly been the victims of patent, design, and trademark infringement.
  • Paraguay and the Philippines have committed to a whole-of-government approach to IPR enforcement that has been critical to enhancing the effectiveness of IPR enforcement and resulted in positive reports from a number of affected stakeholder groups. 


The “Special 301” Report is an annual review of the global state of IPR protection and enforcement.  USTR conducts this review pursuant to Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended by the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 and the Uruguay Round Agreements Act.

USTR reviewed seventy-two (72) trading partners for this year’s Special 301 Report, and placed thirty-seven (37) of them on the Priority Watch List or Watch List.  

In this year’s Report, trading partners on the Priority Watch List present the most significant concerns this year regarding insufficient IPR protection or enforcement or actions that otherwise limited market access for persons relying on intellectual property protection.  Thirteen countries — Algeria, Argentina, Chile, China, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Pakistan, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine, and Venezuela — are on the Priority Watch List.  These countries will be the subject of particularly intense bilateral engagement during the coming year.   

Twenty-four trading partners are on the Watch List, and also merit bilateral attention to address underlying IPR problems:  Barbados, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Greece, Guatemala, Jamaica, Lebanon, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, Tajikistan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.   

USTR also announces that it will launch several Out-of-Cycle Reviews to enhance engagement with trading partners and encourage progress on IPR issues of concern.  USTR will conduct an OCR of Watch List countries Paraguay, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan as well as of two countries not currently listed, Honduras and Spain.  Details appear in Section II of the Report.  USTR may conduct additional OCRs of other trading partners as circumstances warrant, such as in Ecuador, or as requested by the trading partner. 


USTR continued its enhanced approach to public engagement activities in this year’s Special 301 process.  USTR requested written submissions from the public through a notice published in the

Federal Register on December 29, 2014.  On February 24, 2015, USTR hosted a public hearing at which interested persons testified before the interagency Special 301 subcommittee about issues relevant to the review.  The hearing featured testimony from witnesses representing foreign governments, industry, and non-governmental organizations.  Continuing a practice initiated during the prior year, USTR recorded the hearing testimony, made it publicly available, and offered a post-hearing comment period during which hearing participants and interested parties could submit additional information in support of, or in response to, hearing testimony. 

The December 2014 notice in the Federal Register — and post-hearing comment period — drew submissions from 55 interested parties, including 21 trading partner governments.  The submissions that USTR received are available to the public online, docket number USTR-2014-00425.  The public can access both the video and transcript of the hearing