Back in March of 2020, in a rare show of bipartisanship, the US House of Representatives put forward a bill that would make e-commerce companies such as Amazon legally liable for counterfeits sold on its platform, a much-awaited move to stem fake products coming from several countries. The name of the bill is the Shop Safe Act.
As a result of this no so subtle pressure, Amazon is stepping up the battle against counterfeits with the creation of a new team that will investigate fakes and will pursue criminal charges or lawsuits against companies.
The new team is called Counterfeit Crimes Unit.
“Consumer lives are at risk because of dangerous counterfeit products that are flooding the online marketplace,” said Georgia Republican Congressman Doug Collins. “Congress must create accountability to prevent these hazardous items from infiltrating the homes of millions of Americans.”
Counterfeits are a form of intellectual property theft. It involves, for example, the manufacturing of products to imitate others with solid brands and presence in the market. It is fraud and theft since the consumer is not acquiring the same quality and brand that he is seeking.
The importance of Intellectual Property protection
Some countries have lax supervision and counterfeits are manufactured without strict supervision.
Most of the developed countries have robust systems to protect intellectual property products and are increasingly clamping down on manufacturers, distributors and sellers of fakes.
Amazon is making now a priority to keep off counterfeits from its site by using tools such as machine learning to identify and remove suspected fakes and verifying new sellers.
Additionally, Amazon has been suing counterfeiters in court and working with companies whose intellectual property has been infringed.
Amazon states that this Counterfeits Crime Unit is made up of former federal prosecutors, investigators, and data analysts to make their efforts more effective.
The real challenge for the e-commerce giant is to control third-party sellers which collectively sell more products on Amazon than Amazon.
Since Intellectual Property assets account for 38.2% of the total GDP of the U.S., expect more and stronger actions protecting Intellectual Property assets.
Marcos E. Garciaacota is a business and trademark attorney. He serves a wide array of businesses and individuals in the USA and globally, helping his clients in the creation and preservation of wealth.
Call us for a consultation at (480) 324-6378.