Counterfeit goods run rampant across the internet. While there are certain markets, like shoes and clothing, that sell “replicas,” items that buyers know aren’t the real thing, many times counterfeit items are sold to unassuming buyers.
Even in the case of replicas, there is obviously still copyright infringement and other violations associated with the creation and sale of the product. Now, Amazon is using its mass amount of knowledge, data, and expertise to help the U.S. government’s National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) prevent counterfeit items from coming into the United States.
Announced in a press release, Dharmesh Mehta, vice president, Customer Trust and Partner Support, Amazon states, “Amazon conducts investigations and sidelines inventory if we suspect a product may be counterfeit, ensuring our customers are protected.” Mehta goes on to note that the company is aware that counterfeit items are in more places than just Amazon and that by working with IPR Center, it may be able to help stop these counterfeits from ever entering the country.
Amazon has recently been gearing up to combat counterfeits, with it establishing a Counterfeit Crimes Unit earlier this year. That team, made up of former federal prosecutors, experienced investigators, data analysts, and more, focuses on pursuing civil litigation against offenders, as well as assisting brands in both joint and independent investigations.
The new collaboration with the US government “will analyze data and conduct targeted inspections at US ports of entry aimed at preventing counterfeit products from entering the U.S. supply chain. The IPR Center 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.”