Illustration of man facing amazon Project Zero dashboard.

How Project Zero Empowers Brands to Remove Counterfeiters on Amazon

Ryan Faist

Ryan Faist, Channel Key

July 22, 2022

Project Zero is an Amazon program that helps brands combat counterfeit goods on the ecommerce platform. In 2021, Amazon identified and seized more than 3 million counterfeit products, preventing them from harming customers or being resold elsewhere in the retail supply chain. These illegal sellers pose a serious threat by causing lost revenue and potentially damaging your brand’s reputation.

Amazon values customer experience above all else. This requires earning and maintaining trust. When shoppers purchase an item on Amazon, they expect to receive an authentic product. In 2019, Amazon launched Project Zero as a way to meet this standard by empowering brands to help drive counterfeits to zero.

Project Zero combines Amazon’s advanced technology, machine learning, and innovation with the knowledge that brands have of their own intellectual property to detect counterfeit products. Available to sellers enrolled in Brand Registry, this free program helps sellers protect their brand via three powerful tools:

  • Automated Protections
    Powered by machine learning, automated protections continuously scan the marketplace and proactively remove suspected counterfeits. Brands provide key data points about themselves while Amazon scans over 5 billion daily listing updates in search of suspected counterfeits.
  • Self-Service Counterfeit Removal
    Brands no longer need to contact Amazon to remove counterfeit listings. Instead, you can remove them yourself with a self-service tool. Amazon then uses this data to strengthen its automated protections to proactively catch potential counterfeit listings in the future.
  • Product Serialization
    Brands can 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 items purchased. With this service, Amazon can detect and stop counterfeiting for every product unit before it reaches a customer.

What are the eligibility requirements to enroll in Project Zero?

To participate in Project Zero, your brand must be enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry with a government-registered trademark. This means you must meet the following criteria:

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

Note: Project Zero is available to all brands that meet the criteria above, regardless of their selling relationship with Amazon.

How does Amazon ensure that brands are making accurate decisions using the self-service counterfeit removal tool?

Brands must maintain an accuracy of at least 99% in order to maintain their Project Zero privileges. Amazon has 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 its tools.

Do brands need to serialize their products to enroll in Project Zero?

No, but according to Amazon, brands that serialize their products experience the best results. Product serialization is a powerful tool for detecting and stopping counterfeits from reaching customers. Brands also have the choice to determine which of their products to serialize.

Channel Key Takeaway

Project Zero is one of many ways that Amazon is ensuring counterfeiters are held accountable. If your brand faces counterfeit products on Amazon (or you think you might be at risk), enrolling in Project Zero is a simple and effective way to protect your brand. You can also take comfort in knowing that Amazon recently published a blueprint for public and private sector partnerships to stop counterfeiters. This includes the importance of information exchanges in the private sector to stop counterfeiters across retailers, partnering with customs to protect the borders, and the need for increased resources for law enforcement to prosecute counterfeiters. Until then, if you are not enrolled in Project Zero and would like to report a potential counterfeit product, fill out Amazon’s Report Infringement form in your Seller Central dashboard.

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