Clothing group wants Amazon added to ‘notorious markets’ list

The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) is pushing for some of Amazon’s marketplaces to be included in the next edition of the US’s list of markets that sell counterfeits.

The Special 301 Notorious Markets list identifies foreign physical and online marketplaces that reportedly engage in and facilitate substantial copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting, and is put out every year by the US Trade Representative (USTR). The AAFA wants Amazon’s Canadian, UK, and German sites included when it is next published.

The three are “the most unresponsive and non-compliant Amazon marketplace” outside the US, says the AAFA, which has been a vocal critic of other online marketplaces such as Alibaba when it comes to the sale of counterfeit goods. If the USTR accepts the AAFA’s position it will be the first time Amazon is included in the list.

While the AAFA says it has been in regular contact with Amazon over the issue in the past year, it notes in its submission that “many of our members report that little, if anything, has changed regarding the protection of intellectual property on the platform over the past 12 months.”

"Amazon has been a leader of, and has made valuable contributions to, the future of retail,” according to the AAFA. “We believe Amazon can, and should, be a leader in the fight against counterfeits.”

Amazon said in response that it is "committed to protecting American intellectual property,” adding: "We invest tremendous resources to protect our marketplace from inauthentic goods and will continue to work with AAFA and its members to protect their intellectual property and our customers.”

It claims that acted upon 95 per cent of all worldwide notices of potential infringement received from its Brand Registry system within eight hours and that rights owners “are finding and reporting 99 per cent fewer suspected infringements than before the launch of Brand Registry."

The AAFA says however that its members report mixed experiences with Brand Registry, which is designed to help protect registered trademarks on Amazon.

It cites one member a reporting that service was “not particularly useful and have reached out to Amazon on behalf of clients to try to understand how to use it effectively but have gotten radio silence!”

Amazon is just one of several online retailers targeted in the AAFA submission, alongside various shopee sites,,, and Among physical marketplaces it highlights illegal street vendors in Barcelona including “important commercial areas [such as] Paseo de Gracia, Las Ramblas, and Plaza de Cataluña.”

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