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Amazon Publishes Comprehensive Brand Protection Report Demonstrating Progress Toward Driving Counterfeits to Zero

Amazon has released its 2020 Brand Protection Report which provides a comprehensive view of how it ensures customers shop from authentic products in its stores. Amazon makes significant investments in dedicated teams and industry-leading machine learning technology to proactively protect customers, brands, and its selling partners from counterfeiters, and to hold them accountable if they attempt to sell fakes through Amazon. In 2020, Amazon invested more than US$700 million and employed more than 10,000 people to protect its stores from fraud and abuse.

“Amazon was an important partner for the millions of small and medium-sized businesses that sell in our store during the pandemic. We’ve helped our selling partners keep their virtual doors open, and despite increased attempts by bad actors, continued to ensure that the vast majority of customers shop with confidence from our broad selection of authentic products,” said Dharmesh Mehta, Vice President, Customer Trust and Partner Support, Amazon. “Our team’s relentless innovation has helped us stop 6 million attempts to create a selling account and more than 10 billion suspect listings as we continue to drive counterfeits to zero.”

Highlights from the 2020 Brand Protection Report show Amazon’s significant innovation and worldwide progress in combating counterfeits and protecting customers and brands, including:

  • Amazon invested more than US$700 million to protect its stores from fraud and abuse.
  • Amazon employed more than 10,000 people to protect its store from fraud and abuse.
  • Amazon’s verification processes prevented over 6 million attempts to create selling accounts, stopping bad actors before they published a single product for sale.
  • Only 6% of attempted account registrations passed Amazon’s robust verifications processes and listed products for sale.
  • Amazon seized more than 2 million products that were sent to its fulfillment centers and that it detected as counterfeit before being sent to a customer. Amazon prevented those products from being resold elsewhere in the supply chain.
  • Amazon blocked more than 10 billion suspected bad listings before they were published in its stores.
  • Amazon Transparency, a serialization service that protects individual product units, enabled the protection of more than 500 million product units.
  • Fewer than 0.01% of all products sold on Amazon received a counterfeit complaint from customers. Those complaints were then investigated for accuracy.
  • More than 7,000 small and medium-sized businesses were connected to trusted law firms in the U.S. and Europe through IP Accelerator. These businesses successfully submitted trademark applications and received early access to Brand Registry’s brand protection tools.
  • Amazon established its Counterfeit Crimes Unit to build and refer cases to law enforcement, undertake independent investigations or joint investigations with brands, and pursue civil litigation against counterfeiters.

Adrienne McNicholas, Co-Founder of the small business Food Huggers, said: “Brand owners can’t be in all places at all times. Having the Amazon brand protection tools available to small businesses like Food Huggers gives us the ability to protect our brands and our IP around the globe.”

The Brand Protection Report outlines Amazon’s anti-counterfeiting approach, including:

  • Robust proactive controls. Amazon leverages a combination of advanced machine learning capabilities and expert human investigators to protect its store proactively from bad actors and bad products. Amazon is constantly innovating in this space to stay ahead of bad actors and their continued attempts to circumvent its controls.
  • Powerful tools for brands. Brands know their products best. They know their logos, patterns, and intellectual property inside and out. Amazon empowers brands to partner with us through tools like Brand Registry, Transparency, and Project Zero. These tools are powered by Amazon’s advanced technology and each brand’s expert knowledge of their products. Together, we can more effectively detect and stop counterfeiters, which allows us to better protect customers and rights owners.
  • Holding counterfeiters accountable. Amazon continues to innovate on its robust proactive controls and powerful tools for brands, and won’t rest until there are zero counterfeits in its store. This is an escalating battle with criminals who continue to attempt to find ways to sell counterfeits, and the only way to permanently stop these counterfeiters is to hold them accountable through the court system and criminal prosecution.

Brand Registry and Project Zero are tools available to brands with a registered trademark in Singapore today. Globally, over 18,000 brands – from large, global brands to emerging entrepreneurs including Arduino, BMW, ChessCentral, LifeProof, OtterBox, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Veet – have already enrolled in Project Zero.

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