Amazon partners with US govt agency to combat fake goods

Amazon has partnered with the US government’s counterfeit watchdog to launch a joint operation to prevent fake goods from entering the country.

Amazon’s joint operation with the US government’s National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Centre (IPR Centre) will analyse data and conduct targeted inspections at US ports of entry aimed at preventing counterfeit products from entering the US supply chain, the e-commerce giant said on Tuesday.

“This joint operation is our latest public-private initiative bringing us one step closer to border security,” IPR Center Director Steve Francis said in a statement.

Amazon said that it conducts investigations and sidelines inventory if the company suspects a product may be counterfeit.

“But we also know that counterfeiters don’t just attempt to offer their wares in one store, they attempt to offer them in multiple places,” said Dharmesh Mehta, vice president, Customer Trust and Partner Support, Amazon.

“Now, by combining intelligence from Amazon, the IPR Center, and other agencies, we’re able to stop counterfeits at the border, regardless of where bad actors were intending to offer them.”

The IPR Centre and Amazon will leverage evidence obtained during the operation to expand on-going investigations, with the goal of holding bad actors accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

This operation will be led by Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit, which was created earlier this year to support law enforcement investigations and to initiate civil litigation against counterfeiters.

Amazon said it invested more than $500 million in 2019 alone to protect its store and customers from counterfeit and other forms of fraud and abuse.

These investments include machine learning and automated systems to detect bad actors and potentially counterfeit products, dedicated teams to operate and continually refine its anti-counterfeiting programmes, and tools that help Amazon work with and empower brands.