28 February 2019Trademarks

Amazon launches Project Zero to fight fakes

Amazon has today announced Project Zero, a programme which it claims “empowers brands to help drive counterfeits to zero”.

“Project Zero combines Amazon’s advanced technology, machine learning, and innovation with the sophisticated knowledge that brands have of their own IP and how best to detect counterfeits of their products,” said a company  blog post, published today, February 27.

Currently an invite-only experience, Amazon is working to add more brands to the programme.

Earlier this month, Amazon  warned investors, reportedly for the first time, about the risk of counterfeits on its online platform.

Project Zero includes automated protections, which are powered by Amazon’s machine learning expertise and continuously scan the online stores, proactively removing suspected counterfeits. Over five billion product listing updates are scanned every day, the platform said.

Amazon has been testing the process with brands and, on average, the

automated protections proactively stop 100 times more suspected counterfeit products as compared to what Amazon reactively removes based on reports from brands, the company said.

Brands will also have the ability to remove counterfeit listings themselves through the use of a new self-service counterfeit removal tool. Previously, brands would have to report fake goods to Amazon, which would then investigate and take action.

Amazon added: “This provides brands with an unprecedented ability to directly control and remove listings from our store. This information also feeds into our automated protections so we can better catch potential counterfeit listings proactively in the future.”

That’s not all—brands will also be offered a product serialisation service, allowing Amazon to scan and confirm the authenticity of each product purchased in Amazon’s stores.

Phil Blizzard, CEO and founder of Thunderworks (a maker of calming solutions for pets), said: “Every unit we sell through Amazon has a unique, serialised barcode, and our counterfeit problem has nearly disappeared in the US.”

Amazon has faced criticism over the existence of counterfeits on its platform in recent years.

Casey Hopkins, founder of US-based mobile phone accessory company Elevation Lab, went so far as to claim that Amazon is “complicit” with counterfeiters.

Unsurprisingly, Amazon  responded swiftly, stating that it strictly prohibits the sale of fake products and heavily invests in ensuring that its counterfeit policy is followed.

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More on this story

5 August 2019   Amazon has today, August 5, expanded Project Zero, a programme which it claims “empowers brands to help drive counterfeits to zero”, to Europe.
1 October 2019   Amazon has today launched IP Accelerator, a project that connects brands with a curated network of IP law firms.
11 August 2020   Amazon has announced the expansion of its anti-counterfeiting programme, Project Zero, to seven new countries, making it available in 17 countries in which Amazon operates.