11 May 2021TrademarksAlex Baldwin

Amazon blocked 10bn counterfeits prior to listing in 2020

Amazon revealed that it had halted more than 10 billion suspected counterfeit listings before they were published on its platform last year in its first-ever ‘Brand Protection Report’.

The e-commerce giant, which has been under pressure from brands and the US government to remove fakes, highlighted the efforts the company is taking to crack down on the rapidly increasing activity on its platform, which grew significantly during the pandemic.

In its goal to eliminate all counterfeit products from its store, the company seized more than two million counterfeit products in 2020 and invested more than $700 million towards protecting its storefront from fraud and abuse.

Dharmesh Mehta, vice president, customer trust and partner support, Amazon said: “Amazon was an important partner for the millions of small and medium 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,”

The platform has increased its anti-counterfeiting tools in recent years. Criticism from brands that the marketplace was not doing enough resulted in Amazon being named in the US Trade Representative (USTR) Notorious Markets report.

Amazon defended the company's record and described its inclusion as “a desperate stunt” by the outgoing President Trump administration.

SMEs and IP

Amazon highlighted its increased legal protection of small and medium (SME) enterprises throughout the report, claiming that more than 7,000 SMEs were connected with partnered law firms through its IP Accelerator programme.

The scheme is designed to help businesses obtain IP rights and brand protection for Amazon storefronts by connecting sellers with trusted IP law firms and offering competitive trademark registration services.

“A key part of helping small or medium-sized businesses grow and succeed is ensuring they are able to protect their intellectual property,” the report said. “Securing intellectual property rights can be confusing and costly, but it is a necessary step for brands to protect their name, logo, product designs, and other aspects of their brand.”

New tools

In 2020, Amazon introduced a new live video and physical address verification system to verify the seller's identity.

Through this process the storefront prevented more than six million attempts to create selling accounts and stop bad actors before publishing an infringing product, more than double the 2.5 million stopped in 2019.

In total, Amazon allowed only 6% of attempted account registrations in 2020.

Read the report here.

Did you enjoy reading this story?  Sign up to our free daily newsletters and get stories sent like this straight to your inbox

Already registered?

Login to your account

To request a FREE 2-week trial subscription, please signup.
NOTE - this can take up to 48hrs to be approved.

Two Weeks Free Trial

For multi-user price options, or to check if your company has an existing subscription that we can add you to for FREE, please email Adrian Tapping at

More on this story

14 May 2021   The e-commerce platform’s counterfeits report is part of a trend by online retailers’ to improve enforcement and boost reputations, says Megan Rannard of Marks & Clerk.
6 February 2019   Amazon has warned investors, reportedly for the first time, about the risk of counterfeits on its online platform.
15 November 2016   Multinational e-commerce website Amazon and a US company have filed a lawsuit against online counterfeiters who have allegedly infringed their intellectual property rights.