On Monday, October 2, MEMA submitted comments to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in response to their request for details regarding online and physical marketplaces known for trafficking in counterfeit goods. This is an annual request that leads to a publication of a report highlighting the most egregious markets with a substantial counterfeit presence.
Intellectual property rights (IPR) protections are a top priority for MEMA, and counterfeiting vehicle components and parts and stealing trademarks are issues MEMA takes very seriously. The theft of IPR, including through notorious markets and notorious countries, leads to significant costs to suppliers, including lost sales, damages to brand reputation and significant legal and investigation expenditures. Furthermore, the continued proliferation, importation, and dissemination of counterfeit parts pose a risk to public health and safety.
The comments MEMA submitted highlight the ongoing dialogue the Association has maintained with the Alibaba Group following last year’s inclusion of Alibaba’s TaoBao.com on the 2016 Notorious Markets list. “MEMA sees progress in the Alibaba processes, but our members have continued to express concerns that the processes are needlessly complicated, time-consuming and ineffective. Furthermore, our members also continue to report a significant volume of counterfeit and infringing product on Alibaba platforms,” said Ann Wilson, MEMA senior vice president of government affairs.
MEMA is highly engaged on issues impacting IPR. MEMA interfaces with its Intellectual Property Council, which is managed by MEMA’s Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) division, to address market challenges such as IPR infringements including patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade dress. MEMA encourages interested member companies to learn more about the IP Council by visiting its website.