E-commerce giant Amazon has just expanded their anticounterfeiting tool "Project Zero" in Europe. Five countries will be included (UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy).
Project Zero was originally launched in the United States at the beginning of 2019 with the ambition of bringing to zero the number of available counterfeits on the platform.
Amazon not only sells products directly but also distributes products uploaded by thousands of independent sellers. This has increased the diversity of product available, but has also brought a surge of counterfeit offerings on the platform. The principle behind Project Zero is moving from a reactive to a proactive strategy in fighting trademark infringement. Up until now, when a trademark owner found an infringing listing on Amazon, they would report it to the platform and wait for it to be removed. With the new system, Amazon detects infringement out of their own initiative – using different tools such as machine learning - and also allows users to remove listings themselves with a self-service portal. Brands may also, if they so wish, attach a unique code to each product, which lets Amazon scan and confirm that it’s unique.
The US pilot of Project Zero already counts with the participation of 3,000 brands.
E-commerce platforms traditionally had a passive role in the fight against counterfeits, acting only when requested by brands. Following a string of lawsuits seeking their liability, and also with the view of improving the image of their offering, they have started to set up systems to proactively fight the problem.
In the next months we will see if Amazon’s endeavour manages to live up to its name and brings down to zero (or almost) the number of intellectual property infringements.
If you wish to join the Project in Europe, a waitlist can be found here:
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