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Amazon teamed up with the US National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) to prevent counterfeit goods from entering the US.
The joint operation—also supported by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and courier DHL—will analyze data and conduct targeted inspections in an effort to curb the spread of bogus products. Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit, launched earlier this year, will lead the effort, using new evidence obtained during the campaign to expand ongoing investigations and hold “bad actors accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” according to a press release.
“Amazon conducts investigations and sidelines inventory if we suspect a product may be counterfeit, ensuring our customers are protected,” Dharmesh Mehta, vice president of Amazon Customer Trust and Partner Support, said in a statement. “But we also know that counterfeiters don’t just attempt to offer their wares in one store, they attempt to offer them in multiple places.
“Now, by combining intelligence from Amazon, the IPR Center, and other agencies, we’re able to stop counterfeits at the border, regardless of where bad actors were intending to offer them,” Mehta continued. “We appreciate the partnership from the IPR Center and other agencies to protect American consumers and prosecute bad actors.”
A component of Homeland Security, the IPR Center was created in 2000 to help enforce the government’s intellectual property laws. Two decades later, it plays what Director Steve Francis called “a critical role in securing the global supply chain to protect the health and safety of the American public.”
“Our efforts are increased with partners like Amazon to identify, interdict, and investigate individuals, companies, and criminal organizations engaging in the illegal importation of counterfeit products,” Francis said.
Amazon, which strictly prohibits the sale of counterfeit items, regularly provides the IPR Center with data for known counterfeiters. In 2019 alone, the company invested more than $500 million in machine learning and automated systems, anti-counterfeiting programs, and other tools to protect its store and customers from fraud.
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