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Amazon’s Project Zero counteracts counterfeiting

March 1, 2019

The online retail platform has revealed the launch of a new initiative called Project Zero, dedicated to achieving Amazon’s goal of eliminating the sale of counterfeit products on its websites.

As TechCrunch reports, Project Zero will utilise Amazon’s technology and link it with brands’ awareness of their intellectual property “in order to automatically and continuously scan Amazon’s store to identify and proactively remove violations, among other things.”

Brands that wish to take part in the initiative must provide Amazon with “key data” such as their logo and trademark; using this information, Amazon will scan its 5 billion product listings on a day-to-day basis, searching for “suspected counterfeits”.

This method replaces Amazon’s previous policy of having to file a counterfeit report with the online retail platform before any action can be taken, a service Canon has been using on a regular basis of late.

Through Project Zero, brands will be given the tools to “directly remove and control listings” without having to contact the platform first. The initiative also offers an optional product serialisation service.

Counterfeiting has become something of a thorn in Amazon’s side, “largely due to the size and scale of Amazon’s third-party marketplace, which it does little to regulate.” The company has been accused by some of collaborating with counterfeiters and has faced lawsuits both from companies and disgruntled consumers. A number of prominent brands have even refused to sell their products on Amazon, due to its previous refusal to take a more proactive stance against counterfeiters.

However, it seems that recent pressure from the U.S. government has finally pressed the online retailer into action and prompted the roll-out of Project Zero, which has already received some positive feedback.

“Project Zero, with its automated protections and the self-service removal of counterfeit products, is a significant development that will help ensure our customers receive authentic Vera Bradley products from Amazon,” said Mark Dely, chief legal and administrator officer at Vera Bradley.

“Amazon’s product serialisation service has been a game-changer for us. We are excited to have this self-service counterfeit removal tool for the U.S. Marketplace and consider this to be an insurance policy,” said Ken Minn, CEO, Kenu.

“We are providing brands with an unprecedented level of responsibility, and we are willing to do so because we believe that the combined strengths of Amazon and brands can drive counterfeits to zero,” explains Amazon on the Project Zero website. “Brands must maintain a high bar for accuracy in order to maintain their Project Zero privileges. We have a number of processes in place to promote accuracy, including required training as part of Project Zero enrollment and ongoing monitoring to prevent misuse of our tools.” 

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