Amazon Battling Counterfeit Products

May 15, 2019 | Trademark Knowledge

Amazon does 141 Billion dollars worth of sales to 300 Million customers. 58% of the sales are made by third-party sellers that reach customers via Amazon’s websites and often use Amazon to ship the products to the customer.

With so many vendors and so much sales, bad companies who are willing to break the law and sell products with a fake brand or even completely fake products are a big problem. Amazon has several programs to enable brands to protect themselves and counter the fakers.

A brand new program is called Project Zero. It has three components:

  • Automated protections – Using AI to identify and remove fakes
  • Self-service counterfeit removal – Brand owners can themselves delete the fake products they find on Amazon
  • Product serialization – Brands apply a unique code on every unit they manufacture for an enrolled product, allowing Amazon to scan and confirm the authenticity of every one of those products purchased in Amazon’s stores.

Project Zero is currently only available to brands invited to the program, about 500 companies so far, but it is projected to grow in the future.

Amazon takes the fakes so serious that sometimes when fakes are found, Amazon will take it upon themselves to sue the counterfeiters on behalf of the brand owners. For Small and Medium companies that find legal fees to be a scary bottomless pit, this kind of partnership must be very welcome.

But with so much else, the key here is prevention. You have to own your brand in order to prove that someone else is fake and this is where a trademark registration comes in. If you do not own the trademark, anyone can make a product with the same name and it is legal!

Amazon is encouraging all vendors to apply for the Amazon Brand Registry. This means that a brand has to first prove that the government has granted them trademark protection for their logo, company and product names. Once that is done, they gain access to more tools that allow them to protect their brand on Amazon.

If you would like access to Amazon’s 300 Million customers maybe you too should review your trademark portfolio? MUSA Trademark would love to help. Contact MUSA Trademark today!

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