Our collaboration with the Italian public sector against counterfeiting continues. We recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Central Criminal Police Directorate, Joint Task Force at the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ Public Security Department. This is a major step forward on the path to promoting a multi-disciplinary approach aimed at expanding the network of public and private actors committed to fighting against counterfeiting and protecting brands’ intellectual property.
The Memorandum aims to encourage information-sharing with regard to online counterfeiting, as well as to promote sector research and training. At the first operational meeting held in Rome after the signing of the MoU, statistical data on the sale of counterfeit products online was shared with the aim of developing sector-specific analyses and identifying best practices for law enforcement and stakeholders in e-commerce.
“The Central Criminal Police Directorate, Joint Task Force at the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ Public Security Department, supported the move to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Amazon since it will help us deepen our knowledge of online counterfeiting and identify more and more incisive prevention and combating strategies,” said Stefano Delfini, Director of the Criminal Analysis Service at the Central Criminal Police Directorate. “The Memorandum is another important tool for effectively dealing with the constantly evolving criminal phenomenon of counterfeiting. It is crucial to share transversal skills to address current and future challenges and help protect the immense heritage represented by the creativity of the entrepreneurs who promote our prestigious Made in Italy brand all over the world.”
“Our collaboration in Italy with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which is outlined in the Memorandum signed, is important for fighting a phenomenon that detracts value from all the economic actors involved,” said Bianca Martinelli, Strategy and Policy Director, Amazon Italy. “What we bring to the table is the expertise of our global approach based on robust proactive controls, industry-leading brand protection tools and public-private collaboration to prevent counterfeiting across the sector. We are therefore proud to be able to work with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and pool our resources. In particular, protecting Made in Italy brands and products is part of our broader commitment to support the growth of 21,000 Italian SMEs selling in our online store and promote Made in Italy around the world.”
The strategic solutions developed from this public-private collaboration will help prevent small and medium-sized Italian and Made in Italy businesses from suffering damage due to counterfeiting and intellectual property infringement, when selling in Italy and abroad. In the early months of 2023, Amazon held an event “Protecting ‘Made in Italy’ in the USA” in collaboration with the Italian Trade Agency and Guardia di Finanza, where Amazon illustrated our innovative tools introduced to combat counterfeiting, including Brand Registry, Project Zero and Transparency.
These tools allow intellectual property holders to protect their products through verification, the proactive removal of counterfeit products. and serialisation. Through their use, we want to help protect the integrity of Made in Italy products, helping to ensure the success and sustainable growth of Italian companies on an international scale.
We are aware that the fight against counterfeit and intellectual property infringement requires a joint commitment between the private sector and public authorities. In 2020, we created Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit (CCU), which works with brands, law enforcement and customers to block and report bad actors, to defend the rights of brand owners, and to protect customers from counterfeit products. The CCU is a global team of former prosecutors, former FBI agents, experienced investigators and data analysts who have forged mutually beneficial relationships with law enforcement, demonstrating that our anti-counterfeiting efforts are most effective when we work together.
In Italy, Amazon has already collaborated with the Ministry of Internal Affairs on the FATA Project, From Awareness to Action, carried out by the Transcrime Centre of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore with its spin-off Crime&tech. It is the first study developed in Italy that systematically analyses the evolution and functioning of online counterfeiting. The FATA Study has shown a growing interconnection of criminal schemes and an increasingly close link between counterfeiting, fraud, economic-financial crimes, and cybercrimes.
For more information on our active collaboration with the public sector, read our position paper for the public and private sector.