Amazon announced today that it was working with the United States government’s National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) to launch a joint operation to stop counterfeit goods from entering the United States. The mission also hopes to protect United States consumers from thieves selling counterfeit goods in the United States.
Amazon and the IPR Center are also being supported by US Customs and Border Protection and DHL. Most will be unfamiliar with the IPR Center, Dir. Steve Francis says that the IPR Center plays a “critical role” in securing the global supply chain to protect the American public’s health and safety. Francis notes that the organization’s efforts are increased with partners like Amazon in an effort to identify, interdict, and investigate individuals, companies, and criminal organizations engaged in the illegal importation of counterfeit products.
As Amazon’s popularity has boomed, consumers using the website to shop for all manner of goods are increasingly receiving items that are counterfeit while paying prices on par with real goods. Amazon VP of Customer Trust and Partner Support Dharmesh Mehta says Amazon conducts investigations and sidelines inventory if it suspects a product might be counterfeit to protect its customers. He says that Amazon knows counterfeiters don’t offer their products in a single store; they offer them multiple places.
By combining intelligence from Amazon with the IPR center and other agencies, the online giant says they’re able to stop counterfeits at the border regardless of where bad actors intend to sell the products. The joint operation will analyze data and conduct targeted inspections at US ports of entry to prevent counterfeit products from entering the supply chain in the US.
Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit, created earlier this year to support law enforcement investigations and initiate civil litigation against counterfeiters, leads the operation. The online giant notes that it strictly prohibits the sale of counterfeit products and spent more than $500 million to protect its store and customers from counterfeit goods and other forms of fraud and abuse.