Amazon unveils new anti-counterfeiting push

After being accused of not doing enough to stop counterfeits from being sold on its site, has told newswire Reuters that it plans from April to ramp efforts to remove counterfeit goods.

Last year, Amazon drew flak from rights holders and brand owners which accused the online retailer giant of selling fake and pirated products, resulting in lawsuits from the likes of Kenzo, the manufacturer of the Snuggie blanket and hip hop artists Run DMC.

Tech giant Apple also filed a lawsuit last year that claimed nearly all Apple-branded iPhone chargers and accessories on Amazon were fake, which the company said poses serious dangers to consumers.

There have been claims that Chinese counterfeiters are undercutting prices and creating fake reviews, and further allegations that Amazon has inherently weak policing measures and loopholes that allow fakers to continue to sell counterfeit goods under different seller names.

Amazon, which has around 300 million customers, has however started to hit back, and last November made a show of taking a tough stance against counterfeiters as by filing two lawsuits against vendors allegedly selling fake goods.

Now, in an interview with Reuters, Peter Faricy, vice president of Amazon Marketplace, said as part of this push it will also allow any brand to register its logo and IP with Amazon so that it can yank listings, as well as seller accounts, if and when counterfeits are flagged by shoppers, Amazon or brands themselves.

Faricy said this 'brand registry' "will be widely available for free in North America," after completing a test phase last year.

The e-commerce giant is also offering brands a program called 'Transparency.' This is designed to allow them to label packages with a code, given its consumers the ability to cross-check their purchase against official information.

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