Amazon extends Project Zero beyond US market

Amazon has launched its anti-counterfeit programme – Project Zero – to its first European markets after what it says has been a successful roll out in the US.

The initiative, which is aimed at driving the number of counterfeits on its online retail platforms down to zero, features a machine learning algorithm that can scans listings for suspected counterfeits and automatically takes them down.

It was launched in the US earlier this year amid mounting criticism over what some view as inadequate action to curb listings for counterfeit goods, particularly on the marketplace section of its platform which sees third-parties sell goods that in some cases are fulfilled by Amazon.

A US lawmaker recently suggested the company’s anti-counterfeit policies fell far short of counterparts such as Chinese online retail giant Alibaba.

It also includes a self-service counterfeit removal tool that allows brand owners to remove listings themselves, without having to have previously submitted a counterfeit report to Amazon, and operates in tandem with a product serialization service (Transparency).

Amazon says more than 3,000 brands are now signed up to the invitation-only programme in the US, and so it is time to introduce Project Zero to other countries – with France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK the first markets in Europe.

Since the launch, Project Zero tools have blocked more than 65 million listings before a customer ever saw them. That’s an impressive number, but also an indication of just how actively sellers are trying to peddle trademark-infringing goods on the company’s platforms.

According to the online retail giant, serialization is the key to success in anti-counterfeit efforts.

“While product serialization is optional, brands enrolled in Project Zero are seeing the best results when using product serialization.,” says Dharmesh Mehta, Amazon’s vice president of worldwide customer trust and partner support.

“So far those enrolled brands haven’t even used the self-service counterfeit removal tool for their serialized products because the combination of automated protections and serialization has helped drive counterfeits to zero.”

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