2019 Year in Review: Amazon Counterfeit – Project Zero

In February 2019, Amazon announced Project Zero, which is a tool allowing approved brands to directly flag and remove counterfeit listings of their products from Amazon. Project Zero combines Amazon’s advanced technology, machine learning, and innovation with the sophisticated knowledge that brands have of their own intellectual property and how best to detect counterfeits of their products. Amazon does through three powerful tools.

Automated protections

Powered by Amazon’s machine learning expertise, automated protections continuously scans Amazon stores and proactively removes suspected counterfeits. Brands provide Amazon with their logos, trademarks, and other key data about their brand, and Amazon scans over 5 billion product listing updates every day, looking for suspected counterfeits. Amazon has been testing these automated protections with several brands, and on average, their automated protections proactively stop 100 times more suspected counterfeit products as compared to what Amazon reactively removes based on reports from brands.

Self-service counterfeit removal tool

This tool provides brands with the ability to remove counterfeit listings themselves. Previously, brands would need to report a counterfeit to Amazon, and Amazon would then investigate these reports and take action. With Project Zero, brands no longer need to contact Amazon to remove a counterfeit listing. Instead, they can do so, quickly and easily, using Amazon’s self-service tool. This provides brands with an unprecedented ability to directly control and remove listings from the store. This information also feeds into Amazon’s automated protections so that they can better catch potential counterfeit listings proactively in the future.

Product serialization

Product serialization is a service that allows Amazon to individually scan and confirm the authenticity of every one of a brand’s products that are purchased in Amazon’s stores. The product serialization service provides a unique code for every unit that is manufactured, and the brand puts these codes on its products as part of its manufacturing process. Every time a product using Amazon’s serialization service is ordered in Amazon’s stores, Amazon scans and verifies the authenticity of the purchase. With this product serialization service, Amazon can now detect and stop counterfeiting for every product unit before it reaches a customer.

Eligibility requirements

Project Zero is available to brands in the United States, the European Union, Japan, and India.

To be eligible for Project Zero:

1. Your brand must be enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry with a government-registered trademark.

2. You must:

  • Be the rights owner of the trademark.
  • Have an Amazon account with access to Brand Registry.
  • Have submitted reports of potential infringements with an acceptance rate of at least 90% in the last six months.

To check if you are eligible, sign in using your Amazon account associated with Brand Registry. Click here.

Amazon “Our Positions” Page

In October 2019, Amazon introduced a page on its site titled “Our Positions,” where it breaks down the company’s stand on issues ranging from climate change to immigration.

  • Amazon stated that it believes “counterfeiters should receive stronger penalties under federal law” and added that in 2018, the company invested more than $400 million in personnel and preventative tools built on machine learning and data science and employed more than 4,000 employees to fight fraud and counterfeiting in their stores.
  • Amazon also added that it supports US federal policies that make intellectual property violations crimes with meaningful penalties. Amazon also supports a requirement that every package imported into the US identifies the entity responsible for shipping the product.


Despite efforts by the company, counterfeits and fakes on Amazon remain an issue and are receiving increasing criticism from the industry. With this tool, you can remove listings without Amazon’s help. Previously brands would have to submit a request case to Amazon. Since the launching of Project Zero, over 5,700 brands have enrolled, according to the company. As reported by Marketplace Pulse, “For every, one self-service takedown by the brands, the automated protections Amazon has put in place for participating brands have proactively removed more than 500 listings.

Next week we will continue our deep dive into the 2019 year in review with Marketplaces in 2019.

We hope that this post was insightful. If you have any additional questions leave a comment below, we’ll be there, we’ll respond, and we will help you through the process. If you found this post to be helpful, please like, share, comment, and tell other people about it.

If you need immediate advice or assistance with Amazon strategies? Talk to our Channel Key team. Thank you for reading.

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