Amazon removed six million counterfeit products in 2022 in fight against fakes
Retail giant reports progress in anti-counterfeiting drive as it bolsters seller verification process and expands brand protection programmes
Amazon partnered with brands and law enforcement agents to identify and seize more than six million counterfeit products in 2022, according to its third annual Brand Protection Report.
In 2022, the e-commerce giant's Counterfeit Crimes Unit sued or referred for investigation more than 1,300 criminals in the US, UK, EU and China. It partnered with brands and law enforcement agents to identify, seize, and appropriately dispose of the haul of counterfeit products.
Furthermore, ‘bad actor’ attempts to create new selling accounts decreased from six million attempts in 2020, to two-and-a-half million in 2021 and 800,000 by 2022. Amazon said innovations in seller vetting were deterring bad counterfeiters from attempting to create new selling accounts. It scans eight billion daily attempted changes to product detail pages for signs of potential abuse.
One law enforcement agency Amazon works with is London's Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), a specialist police team dedicated to protecting physical goods from intellectual property crime and combatting online piracy. The unit, which is part of the National Lead Force Operations within the City of London Police, has a mission to investigate, disrupt and prevent intellectual property crime that causes significant harm to the UK economy and the general public.
Detective Sergeant Andrew Masterson, from PIPCU at City of London Police, said: “It’s great to see Amazon respond to the threat of counterfeiting and take action against illegitimate sellers, including by supporting us to seize £170,000 worth of suspected counterfeit CDs during raids last year.”
Vice president of Amazon Dharmesh Mehta added: “We take pride in the progress our organisation has made this past year, specifically further evolving our technology to stay ahead of bad actors and doubling down on our criminal referral and litigation efforts.
“We’re appreciative of the growing industry-wide collaboration in this space, and look forward to continuing to innovate and work together to drive counterfeits to zero.”
The third annual Anti-Counterfeiting World Law Summit, which is hosted by GLP, will take place in London on 18 October. Click here for more details
Other positive data reported by Amazon includes that the number of valid notices of infringement submitted by brands decreased by 35% in 2022 compared to the previous year. Amazon said this was despite the number of products available continuing to grow.
Meanwhile, the number of brands on its Brand Registry, launched in 2017 as a free service, continues to expand. ‘Our automated protections continuously scan Amazon’s stores to stop potentially infringing products. Starting in 2022, based on feedback from brand owners, Brand Registry users can now view details of the number of listings that were proactively removed by store, brand, and category within the Impact dashboard,' the report says.
Mehta added: “I can still remember the initial launch of the new Brand Registry, and it's impressive to see how far the team has come since then. Continued innovation, strong partnerships with brands, and support from leading IP organisations, law enforcement, and other public sector entities have all contributed to ensuring a trustworthy shopping and selling experience for our customers and selling partners.”
For several years, the technology behemoth has also been working with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to prevent fraud and abuse in the trademark system. The report notes: ‘Our partnership with the USPTO has allowed us to identify over 5,000 false or otherwise abusive brands and remove or prevent them from enrolling in Brand Registry.’
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