Along with the rising popularity of eCommerce sites, counterfeit goods and other fake items sold on the internet has expectedly increased. Even tech-giant, Amazon falls victim to the selling of fake goods on its platform.
Amazon counterfeiting activities are still prevalent despite the legal measures laid by authorities worldwide. Just recently, Amazon together with a popular cosmetic brand jointly filed a lawsuit against four companies and certain individuals for counterfeiting.
In a statement concerning the Amazon counterfeiting activity, Amazon Counterfeit Crimes Unit stated that “the majority of sellers in our (Amazon) store are law-abiding entrepreneurs, but we will take aggressive action to protect customers, brands, and our store from counterfeiters.”
With the constant threat of phony items being sold online by Amazon counterfeit sellers, the company invested resources and laid down guidelines to improve ways of detecting and preventing fake products from reaching their customers’ checkout baskets.
The Amazon brand protection program is one of the methods of stopping counterfeiting activities in the retail industry, while improving Amazon seller protection against Amazon counterfeit sellers.
Counterfeiting in Numbers
In a published report back in 2018, it was revealed that 30% of online consumers have accidentally purchased counterfeit items over the last five years. This includes items purchased from eCommerce stores such as Amazon, eBay, and other popular digital platforms.
From consumer items to major brands, counterfeiters wasted no time exploiting the popularity of these consumer products. Some of the highly counterfeited items include; clothing, footwear, electronics, gadgets, and leather goods.
In a report made by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), it was stated that fake items trade is on the rise, and currently on 3.3%. It also estimated that $500 billion is lost to phony products each year.
Hence, increasing the need for better Amazon brand protection program.
Response to Proliferation of Amazon Counterfeit Items | TIMELINE
2017 – Brand Registry
In response to the growing threat of Amazon counterfeiting for Amazon seller protection, the Seattle-based company has introduced Brand Registry as a form of brand protection. The Amazon brand registry aims to protect the intellectual property of brand owners while providing a trustworthy experience for Amazon customers worldwide.
With the help of Amazon Brand Registry, brand owners or Amazon sellers are given access to tools that enable them to accurately represent their brands. Finding cases of potential infringement is made easier with Global search, Image search, Bulk ASIN search, and other search & report tools.
2019 – Project Zero
As Amazon aimed to obliterate Amazon counterfeits to zero, the eCommerce-giant launched Project Zero. Amazon Project Zero is a high-tech response to counterfeiting activities on its platform.
Powered by Amazon’s machine learning, this project automates brand protection by continuously scanning Amazon stores for counterfeits. Apart from mere platform scan, Project Zero also proactively removes suspected products that infringe certain brands.
The initial requirements for Project Zero eligibility include Amazon Brand Registry, which means sellers should obtain a government registered trademark. Secondly, sellers must be the owner of the registered trademark.
A testament to the effectiveness of Project Zero, in August of 2020, Amazon announced the expansion of Project Zero to seven new countries, including Brazil, Australia, Netherlands, Singapore, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey
If you wish to check your Amazon Project Zero eligibility, you may CLICK HERE and sign in using your account associated with the Amazon Brand Registry.
2019 – Transparency Expansion
Just last year, Amazon also expanded Transparency checks to other countries to extend its campaign against Amazon counterfeiting activities. Apart from the US, Amazon has expanded Transparency to the United Kingdom, France, Germany, India, and Italy.
To help proactively prevent Amazon counterfeiting and to identify individual units, Transparency was introduced along with its product serialization method. This service also adds value to customers for it allows buyers to authenticate any Transparency-enabled product regardless of the platform, online or brick and mortar stores.
2019 – IP Accelerator
Another advancement introduced by Amazon to counter Amazon counterfeiting is the IP Accelerator. This service allows business and brand owners to have quick access to brand protection.
IP Accelerator bridges businesses with IP law firms to help them quickly obtain intellectual property (IP) rights at the very onset of their Amazon business. If you wish to start a discussion about filing a trademark for your brand, you may CLICK HERE.
2020- New Counterfeit Crimes Unit
To ensure the protection of global customers, both sellers and buyers alike, the tech-giant established a new Amazon Counterfeit Crimes Unit. This Counterfeit Crimes Unit does more than emailing violators of their infractions. They are mainly responsible for bringing those who participated in Amazon counterfeiting activities to justice.
This new anti-counterfeit team of Amazon is composed of elite members including data analysts, investigators, and former prosecutors. They serve as a great complement to the effort of Amazon to stop the proliferation of fake products on the platform.
The scope of concern for this new Amazon Counterfeit Crimes Unit is not only limited within the United States. Since the operation of Amazon is global and counterfeiting activities are occurring in various regions, the Amazon Counterfeit Crimes Unit reach is international.
Amazon’s Vice President Customer Trust and Partner Support stated that “every counterfeiter is on notice that they will be held accountable to the maximum extent possible under the law, regardless of where they attempt to sell their counterfeits or where they’re located.”
Increase Sales, Protect Brand
As Amazon continues to make some upgrades to their system and services, their fight against Amazon counterfeiting continues. The eCommerce platform even allocated over $500 million to fight fraud and abuse. This is geared towards the protection of their customers worldwide.
Participating with Amazon’s anti-counterfeiting services will help secure your brand and its potential sales. Apart from that, taking advantage of Amazon selling tools such as Amazon repricers and feedback tools will also help engage customers and increase profitability.