Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit (CCU) and BMW Group have won a joint civil lawsuit – the first of its kind in Spain - against four local fraudsters who attempted to sell counterfeit BMW parts and accessories across Europe. The judgement by the European Union Trademark Court in Alicante rules that the bad actors broke the law, violated Amazon’s policies, and infringed on BMW Group’s registered trademarks by trying to sell counterfeit products including valve caps, badges, and key rings.
Amazon has proactive measures in place to prevent counterfeit products from being listed and continuously monitors its store. In this case, Amazon detected suspicious activity using advanced machine learning tools and partnered with BMW Group to confirm the products in question were counterfeit. To address the issue, Amazon enforced the defendants’ selling accounts, eliminated infringing listings connected to the case, and proactively refunded impacted customers. Amazon’s CCU, established to identify and dismantle counterfeit organisations, worked closely with BMW Group and filed a joint lawsuit against the fraudsters.
“Amazon has zero tolerance for counterfeit products and will take the fight to bad actors wherever they operate,” said Kebharu Smith, director of Amazon’s CCU. “This judgement is a significant win. By partnering with brand owners like BMW Group, we can successfully shut down counterfeiters and stop fake items from ever reaching our customers or being sold elsewhere in the supply chain.”
“When Amazon and BMW Group both contribute their investigative capabilities, experience, and technological resources to jointly identify and target counterfeiters, we are very effective and successful in our fight against bad actors,” said Dr. Jochen Volkmer, Head of Intellectual Property Law, Trademarks, Designs, BMW Group. “We are proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish together so far to keep customers safe from bad actors and are motivated to continue to work closely together to achieve a lasting impact. We are looking forward to continuing our collaboration.”
Amazon employs a host of automated protection technologies to keep counterfeits from ever entering the store. In 2022, Amazon’s systems stopped more than 800,000 bad actor attempts at opening new selling accounts, before they were able to list a single product for sale, and more than 99% of listings suspected of being fraudulent or counterfeit are blocked or removed through Amazon’s automated, proactive protections.
Amazon is committed to pursuing bad actors and does so through the work of the CCU. Amazon works closely with brands and law enforcement across the globe to hold bad actors accountable. In 2022, Amazon's CCU sued or referred for investigation over 1,300 criminals in the U.S., the UK, across the EU, and in China.