Amazon has just released its second Brand Protection Reportdetailing its significant investments and successes in protecting customers, brands and business partners against counterfeiting, fraud and other forms of abuse.
Why is this important: Customers expect to receive a genuine product when purchasing an item sold by Amazon or one of their third-party seller partners. Although it sounds simple, the challenge is immense, as the international trade in counterfeit and pirated goods amounted to $464 billion per year, or 2.5% of global trade.
Big investments to protect consumers: In 2021, Amazon has invested more than $900 million and employed more than 12,000 people — including machine learning scientists, software developers, and expert investigators — dedicated to protecting customers, brands, and business partners.
Key Highlights from Amazon’s Brand Protection Report:
- Deter and stop bad actors: Amazon has stopped more than 2.5 million attempts to create fraudulent selling accounts, preventing these bad actors from posting a single product for sale. That number is down from more than 6 million attempts the year before, thanks to robust seller and product vetting and efforts to hold bad actors accountable who deterred them from attempting to sell on Amazon.
- Increase adoption of brand protection tools: Trademark register, which unlocks a suite of tools to build and protect a brand on Amazon, grew to include more than 700,000 active brands, a 40% increase over the previous year. At the same time, the average number of valid infringement notices submitted by a brand in the Brand Registry decreased by more than 25% from the previous year, as continued growth in adoption and he effectiveness of automated brand protection tools continues to reduce the number of issues brands can find and report.
- Hold counterfeiters accountable: Amazon’s Counterfeiting Crimes Unit (CCU) continued to ensure that counterfeiters were held accountable, preventing them from abusing Amazon stores and other retailers in the industry. In 2021, Amazon’s CCU filed civil suits against over 170 infringers in US courts and prosecuted or referred over 600 criminals for investigation in the US, UK, EU and China , an increase of more than 300% compared to 2020.
- Identify and seize counterfeits: Amazon has identified, seized and appropriately disposed of more than 3 million counterfeit products, preventing them from harming customers or reselling them elsewhere in the retail supply chain. This includes counterfeits sent to Amazon fulfillment centers as part of an unsuccessful attempt to sell on Amazon. Amazon also worked with brands and law enforcement to find counterfeiters’ warehouses and facilities and shut them down.
- Forging public-private partnerships: Amazon released a blueprint for public-private sector partnerships to stop counterfeiters, building on learnings and progress made in protecting Amazon’s store. This included the importance of private sector information sharing to stop counterfeiters between retailers, partnering with customs to protect borders, and the need for increased law enforcement resources to prosecute counterfeiters.
- Support customers: Amazon explained to consumers why they should buy only genuine products while resolving issues proactively and reactively if something goes wrong. Support assures customers that they will always be supported.
Go further: Find out what Amazon is doing to protect consumers, brands and businesses by visiting the Brand Protection Report.
About the authors
Senior Director of External and Public Affairs, Global Innovation Policy Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Scott Hall is senior director of external and public affairs at the US Chamber’s Global Innovation Policy Center.