Amazon released its first, comprehensive look at how we ensure customers shop from authentic products in our store, including how we protect brands and the millions of small and medium-sized businesses that offer authentic products for sale in our store.
The pandemic created a challenging year and we saw increased attempts by bad actors to commit fraud and offer counterfeit products during the pandemic. Our teams have continued to innovate to protect our store, helped our selling partners keep their virtual doors open, and ensured that the vast majority of customers continue to shop with confidence from our broad selection of authentic products. Our Brand Protection Report is the first time we have provided a holistic view of our anti-counterfeiting efforts, and I’m proud to share the progress our teams have made as we continue to drive to zero counterfeits.
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 over $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 destroyed those products to prevent them 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 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.
The Brand Protection Report also outlines Amazon’s anti-counterfeiting approach, which includes:
- 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. However, this is an escalating battle with criminals that continue to look for 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.
We are excited by what we were able to achieve in 2020, but we will not rest until we get to zero counterfeits. Amazon will continue to invest and innovate to protect customers, brands, and our selling partners, and we look forward to increased collaboration with brands and law enforcement to hold counterfeiters accountable.
A word from our partners
"Over the past three years, the IACC-Amazon Program has seen real, practical, and substantive results, improving the IP enforcement experience for both our brand participants and the rights-holder community as a whole.” – Bob Barchiesi, President of IACC
“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” – Adrienne McNicholas, co-founder of the small business Food Huggers.
“The joint action with Amazon underlines how the protection of intellectual property is a priority for Ferragamo and how the company is pursuing the fight against counterfeiting with full awareness and resolution.” – Micaela le Divelec Lemmi, CEO of Salvatore Ferragamo
“The IPR Center plays a critical role in securing the global supply chain to protect the health and safety of the American public. However, our efforts are increased with partners like Amazon to identify, interdict, and investigate individuals, companies, and criminal organizations engaging in the illegal importation of counterfeit products. This joint operation is our latest public- private initiative bringing us one step closer to border security.” – Steve Francis, IPR Center Director
“Over the past three years, the IACC-Amazon Program has seen real, practical and substantive results, improving the IP enforcement experience for both our brand participants and the rights-holder community as a whole.” – Bob Barchiesi, IACC President
“With Transparency, /we’re now more confident than ever that our customers are receiving legiti\mate products—which is a win for us and for customers.” – Cards Against Humanity