As Amazon continues to crack down on the sale of counterfeit goods on its platform, the company this week launched two initiatives to crack down on trademark issues and counterfeiting across its marketplace. Some counterfeiters use Amazon advertising to promote their products.
Operation Fulfillment and Intellectual Property Accelerator (IP Accelerator) are the two ways Amazon began approaching counterfeit goods, protecting sellers and consumers across its marketplace. One strategy aims to stop counterfeit goods from entering the United States, and the other provides help and guidance for small businesses to protect their intellectual property.
Amazon on Wednesday launched IP Accelerator in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom to make it easier for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to obtain trademarks, protect their brands and tackle counterfeit goods.
IP Accelerator -- which is available to any brand selling in Amazon's stores -- connects entrepreneurs with a curated network of European law firms with expertise in IP rights, but the services are not free.
Participating law firms will charge fees to SMBs at pre-negotiated rates, and provide information on factors like the costs and processes to obtain a trademark. SMBs can also ask general IP advice. These can be complicated processes, particularly for entrepreneurs in the early stages of setting up a business.
On Tuesday, Amazon -- which previously invested more than $500 million to protect its Marketplace and customers from counterfeit and other fraud in 2019 -- announced “Operation Fulfillment” with the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), focused on stopping counterfeit goods from entering the U.S.
Investments range from machine learning and automated systems to detect bad actors and potentially counterfeit products, to dedicated teams who continually refine anti-counterfeiting programs. As a result, 99.9% of pages viewed by customers on Amazon did not receive a valid counterfeit complaint and customers continue to shop with confidence on Amazon.
The partnership announced yesterday relies on data from Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit, DHL, and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) to stop the sale of counterfeit products.
It's how Amazon helped to identify a recent counterfeit ring. Earlier this month, Amazon sued two influencers and nearly a dozen Amazon third-party sellers in an alleged scheme to peddle counterfeit products. Kelly Fitzpatrick and Sabrina Kelly-Krejci, along with 11 Amazon marketplace sellers unlawfully advertised and promoted the sale of counterfeit luxury products on Amazon.com, according to a complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.