Amazon released its latest Brand Protection Report about the platform’s efforts to combat unlawful activity. The 22-page report details how Amazon invested over $1.2 billion and employed over 15,000 people dedicated to protecting customers, brands, selling partners, and the marketplace from counterfeit, fraud, and other forms of abuse. To save you time, we’ve combed through the Brand Protection Report and summarized the most important takeaways.
99% of Unlawful Amazon Product Listings Are Proactively Blocked or Removed
Amazon’s proactive controls found more than 99% of blocked or removed listings before a brand could find and report it. These listings were suspected of being fraudulent, infringing, counterfeit, or at risk of other forms of abuse. Over the years, Amazon has built industry-leading tools to verify potential sellers’ identities by using a combination of advanced technology and human reviews. These are the first lines of defense for Amazon selling partners. All brands must provide a government-issued photo ID, taxpayer information, and details about their identity, location, bank accounts, credit cards, and more. Amazon’s proprietary systems then analyze hundreds of unique data points to detect and mitigate potential risk, including relationships to previously identified bad actors.
8 Billion Amazon Product Listings Scanned Daily
Amazon’s automated technology scanned over 8 billion daily attempted changes to product detail pages for signs of potential abuse. Amazon’s seller verification process includes connecting one-on-one with brands through video chat, coupled with continued advancements in machine learning-based detection. This two-pronged approach deters bad actors from attempting to create new Amazon selling accounts. The number of unlawful attempts to create new accounts decreased from 2.5 million in 2021 to 800,000 in 2022.
6 Million Counterfeit Items Appropriately Disposed
Amazon removed more than 6 million counterfeit product units from the global supply Chain in 2022. The company also pursued more than 1,300 criminals through litigation and criminal referrals through its Counterfeit Crimes Unit (CCU). This is a global team that includes former federal prosecutors, FBI agents, expert investigators, and data analysts. CCU works with customs agencies and law enforcement to track down counterfeiters, shut down bad actors’ accounts, seize counterfeit inventory, and prosecute those involved. CCU has disrupted counterfeiters and their networks through civil suits, joint enforcement actions, and seizures with law enforcement worldwide, including against suppliers, logistics providers, social media influencers, fake invoice providers, and more.
5,000 False Brands Removed
Amazon’s partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has enabled the platform to remove or prevent over 5,000 false brands from enrolling in Brand Registry. Amazon directly receives and acts upon information from the USPTO regarding registration status and parties that have been subject to USPTO sanctions, including attorneys that the USPTO has blocked. This helps ensure fraudulent trademark applications and registrations are not used to enroll in Brand Registry. Amazon leverages this information with the USPTO to support their investigation of potential fraud by their applicants and registrants.
35% Reduction in Valid Notices of Infringement Submitted
Amazon Brand Registry is a free service that helps brand owners manage and protect their brand and intellectual property rights. Through the Report a Violation tool, brands can search for, identify, and report infringements. They can also track their submissions within the dedicated Submission History dashboard. Brand Registry allows Amazon to safeguard brands through automated protections that use machine learning and data. In 2022, through continued improvements in automated protections, brands encountered fewer infringing products on Amazon. As a result, the number of valid notices of infringement submitted in Brand Registry decreased by more than 35% from 2021.
16,000 Brands Now Use IP Accelerator
IP Accelerator’s network of small- and medium-sized brands continued to grow in 2022. More than 16,000 brands now use IP Accelerator to enroll in Brand Registry. This program helps small businesses efficiently obtain intellectual property rights and protect their brands. IP Accelerator connects businesses with a vetted network of trusted IP law firms in 39 countries and 13 languages, offering high-quality trademark registration services at competitive rates. IP Accelerator also expedites a brand’s access to Brand Registry, jump-starting Amazon’s protection tools and brand-building benefits.
40% Increase in Transparency Enrollment
The total number of brands enrolled in Amazon’s Transparency program increased to over 33,000 in 2022. Transparency is a product serialization service that prevents counterfeits from reaching customers by using codes to uniquely identify individual units of enrolled products. These codes can be scanned throughout the supply chain and by customers to verify authenticity using the Amazon Shopping App or Transparency App, regardless of where the products were purchased. Amazon verifies these codes to ensure that only authentic units are shipped to customers. Last year, Transparency product serialization protected more than 900 million product units across the supply chain.
22,000 Brands Enrolled in Project Zero
Project Zero saw continued adoption in 2022, with the total number of brands enrolled increasing to over 22,000. Project Zero combines Amazon’s advanced technology with the sophisticated knowledge that brands have of their own intellectual property and how best to detect counterfeits of their brands. This happens through Amazon’s brand protection tools, including automated protections, product serialization capabilities, and the ability in Project Zero to directly remove counterfeit listings from Amazon’s store.
Channel Key Takeaway
Amazon’s mission is to be the most customer-centric company in the world. A critical part of this mission is earning and maintaining the trust of brands and customers. Amazon’s Brand Protection Report summarizes how the ecommerce giant is focused on four strategic areas critical to brand protection:
- powerful and highly effective proactive efforts to protect its store
- industry-leading tools enabling rights owners to partner with Amazon to better protect their brands
- advances in holding bad actors accountable
- improved customer protection and education
This latest report reassures brands that Amazon takes illegal activity seriously and is taking proactive steps to ensure trust on the marketplace for everyone.