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Counterfeiters have existed for as long as humans have lived in organized societies. In fact, historians tell of stamped Roman tiles being faked as early as 230 BC. We also know the English government has been enforcing trademark laws against counterfeiters since at least the early thirteenth century.[i]

Perhaps at no time in history, however, has the counterfeiting trade exploded like it has since the advent of the internet and the dawn of the E-Commerce era. When you add to that the global nature of today’s economy, you have the recipe for a counterfeiting crisis.

Indeed, the statistics bear this out. According to the International Trademark Association (“INTA”), over $450 billion worth of phony products were bought and sold worldwide in 2016 alone.[ii] Perhaps predictably, many of these sales were completed via the internet. Unfortunately, the problem is not anticipated to go away any time soon. INTA, along with the International Chamber of Commerce, predict that counterfeit sales will top $2 trillion by 2022.[iii]

For American manufacturers and brands, two massive forces are exacerbating the counterfeiting dilemma. First, the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”), long known for creating knock-offs of popular American brands, is producing more fake products in the internet age than ever before. According to an annual report produced by the U.S. Customs & Border Patrol, along with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, of all the counterfeit products seized worldwide in 2015, over half were shipped from the PRC.[iv] If you include Hong Kong, that number jumps to 87%.[v]

The second negative force is one of America’s largest and most beloved retailers – Amazon.com. Through a variety of controversial business tactics, the company is thought to be increasing the number of counterfeit products being sold in the United States on a massive scale.[vi] In particular, recent business maneuverings by Amazon have opened the floodgate for counterfeits from China. The impact of these imposter products on American business cannot be overstated. Amazon is currently the largest online retailer in the nation, boasting roughly $100 billion in sales in 2016.[vii]

Part I of this paper will explore some of the reasons counterfeiting is such a major problem within the PRC. It will also consider how certain business practices and strategy decisions by Amazon are making the problem worse.

Part II will delve into the measures Amazon itself is purportedly taking to slow the tidal wave of fake products being sold via its online marketplace – measures many industry watchers say are wholly inadequate.

Finally, Part III will discuss the measures that American manufacturers and brands can take to avoid being decimated by counterfeit products sold via Amazon.com. Part III will not only discuss preventative measures companies can take to avoid a counterfeiting nightmare, but will also explore enforcement tactics that can be employed if knock-offs are already being sold in marketplaces like Amazon.

Given the significant role China plays in global counterfeit trading, along with its close ties to Amazon, Part III’s prevention and enforcement strategies will also explore the specifics of dealing with knock-offs coming out of that nation.

 There can be no doubt that counterfeiting impacts U.S. companies disproportionately. In fact, one recent study found that of all the phony products seized worldwide in a two-year period, American brands were the most frequently counterfeited – accounting for 20% of global seizures.[viii] This is a considerable number given that some of the world’s most copied brands – Rolex, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci among them – are all headquartered in Europe.

Since the bulk of the fake products are coming out of China, many American brands were shocked when Seattle-based Amazon took measures to increase importation of Chinese products for sale in its marketplace. This Part explores that conundrum in detail.

The China Problem

As discussed in the introduction, China is the undisputed world leader in production and transit of counterfeit products. In addition to being prolific producers, many Chinese manufacturers are incredibly skilled at copying popular brands. By way of illustration, a 2015 article revealed that the city of Shenzhen boasted nearly three dozen fake Apple Stores, as opposed to a single official store operated by Apple itself.[ix] The fake stores and their fake products were so close to the real thing that even many employees were surprised to learn they were working for an imposter.

So, why are so many American products being cloned in China? For one thing, there are hundreds of American companies with manufacturing facilities in the PRC – including iconic brands such as Harley Davidson, Nike, and Gillette.[x] According to some sources, over 70% of U.S. shoes are made in China.[xi] The reasons for this are plentiful, but basic economics appear to be a major factor. For example, while the minimum wage in some regions of the U.S. now top $11 per hour, the average wage for a Chinese factory worker is just $1.74 per hour.[xii]

Unfortunately, the specifications and designs for products made in Chinese manufacturing plants have a way of leaking to other facilities. Chinese companies have also been known to produce quantities of products far above the number required by contracts with American partners. Those overrun products quickly make their way to into the global marketplace.

Moreover, even sophisticated American businesses often make the mistake of presuming that Non-Disclosure Agreements (“NDAs”) that are effective in the U.S. will also be effective with Chinese manufacturers. That is not always the case. Indeed, Chinese companies have a plethora of tricks intended to circumvent American notions of contractual secrecy.[xiii]

All these factors add up to a perfect storm of counterfeiting. For many years, American companies believed there was nothing they could do to stop this process. While that is not necessarily the case (as we will discuss in Part III), Amazon’s recent march into China has certainly increased the urgent need to deal with the China problem sooner rather than later.

Amazon’s March into China

                The very nature of Amazon’s business model has long been criticized for fostering counterfeiters. The site currently sells roughly 50% of its products through third-party retailers (“TPRs”).[xiv] Lamentably, many of those TPRs have either obtained legitimate products through illegitimate means, or worse, openly sell counterfeit products via the popular site. In either case, they use Amazon to peddle products for rock-bottom prices that authorized brick and mortar stores are then forced to match. The result is a disastrously quick form of price erosion known as “the race to the bottom.”

A few years back, the race got even faster when Amazon decided to directly cater to Chinese manufacturers. In the past, Chinese companies largely had to go through intermediaries in order to sell products in the U.S. market. Amazon, however, had other ideas. In 2015, the retail giant applied with the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce for licenses to act as a wholesaler for ocean container shipping between the two countries.[xv]

The licenses were granted and, as a result, it suddenly became much easier for Chinese manufacturing plants to ship entire containers of products directly to Amazon’s fulfillment centers in the United States.[xvi] Once knock-off Chinese products hit the shelves of those fulfillment centers, it also became a lot harder for U.S. based brands and other authorized retailers to compete within the Amazon universe. Meanwhile, sales on Amazon from Chinese sellers more than doubled. This prompted one author to describe Amazon as a “website [that] has morphed into the world’s largest flea market.”[xvii]

The problem has become so severe that some of America’s leading brands decided to pull their products from Amazon all together. In one famous example, Apple pulled its products from the site after finding that only 10% of iPhone chargers offered for sale on Amazon were legitimate products.[xviii] Popular shoe manufacturer Birkenstock also removed its products from Amazon after finding what has been described as a “surge” of counterfeit sandals on the site.[xix] Industry watchers opined that the counterfeit “explosion” was directly linked to China’s increased access to Amazon.

The Commingling Conundrum

In another controversial move that seemingly laid out the red carpet for counterfeiters, Amazon created what it refers to as its commingling system. In order to properly understand commingling, you first have to understand a little bit about Amazon’s worldwide “fulfillment centers,” and its shipping and handling program for TPRs known as “Fulfillment by Amazon,” or “FBA.”

One of the things that continually sets Amazon apart from the rest of the online retailers in the world is its incredible speed in shipping products. For members of its “Prime” loyalty program, 2-day shipping to any location within the United States is typically free with any purchase.

Amazon does this by housing products offered on its site in over 70 fulfillment centers located across the United States.[xx] These geographically diverse warehouses dovetail precisely with the company’s Fulfillment by Amazon program. In a nutshell, FBA exists to make shipping easy for Amazon’s third-party retailers (with the added benefit of enhancing Amazon’s core mission of providing fast shipping to consumers).

Both TPRs and brands selling direct via Amazon are heavily incentivized to join FBA. In fact, they are all but forced to do so if they want to enjoy Amazon’s more exclusive seller benefits, such “winning the Buy Box.”[1] Under the FBA program, sellers ship all of their products to an Amazon fulfillment center. When a consumer orders that product, it is then picked, packaged, labeled, and shipped by Amazon and quickly delivered to the consumer.

Given that literally hundreds of retailers may be selling the same product via Amazon, each fulfillment center may could house multiple units of the product yet each unit could have been sent there by a different seller. This is where commingling comes in.

In order to meet its obsession with quick shipping, Amazon routinely ships a product from the fulfillment center closest to the consumer who ordered it – regardless of whether the product was sent to that fulfillment center from the retailer who made the sale. In other words, like products are commingled and shipped by Amazon from the most convenient location.[xxi] It is an innovative, efficient system.

The problem with commingling is that people who sell counterfeits also participate in the FBA program. As a result, a consumer who ordered from a legitimate seller on Amazon may receive a phony product shipped to the same fulfillment center by a fraudulent seller. To make matters worse, the legitimate retailer is the one who will end up with seething online reviews from those consumers.

Of course, now that Chinese manufacturers can ship directly to Amazon fulfillment centers, the commingling conundrum has only worsened. In fact, according to some reports, counterfeiting on Amazon has “grown to epidemic proportions over the past couple of years.”[xxii]

With rumors of rampant counterfeiting swirling around the company, Amazon has taken some measures to stem the tide. Anyone paying close attention to their efforts, however, might find those efforts to be half-hearted at best. In fact, despite the scores of articles lambasting the company for being lax on counterfeiting, Amazon’s 2015 and 2016 annual reports do not contain a single instance of the word “counterfeit.”[xxiii]

Keep in mind that Amazon makes money on every product sold on its site – counterfeit or not. So how deep can their motivation be to eradicate a percentage of products from its warehouses? Part II examines the security measures Amazon has put in place thus far, as well as the perceived effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of those measures.

Zero Tolerance

For a company that pulls in over $100 billion annually,[xxiv] one might expect that Amazon would have a detailed and aggressive anti-counterfeiting policy. Publicly, the retail giant purports to have “zero tolerance” for counterfeiters.[xxv] It even publishes an “Anti-Counterfeiting Policy” that promises to “immediately suspend or terminate … selling privileges and destroy inventory in our fulfillment centers without reimbursement” if phony goods are discovered in its warehouses.[xxvi] Behind the scenes, however, an entirely different story emerges.

Sellers of popular products often complain of having their prices undercut by counterfeit knock-offs sold on the site. In fact, one attorney who frequently represents sellers impacted by counterfeit products on Amazon has been quoted as stating “Amazon is making money hand over fist from counterfeiters, and they’ve done about as little as possible for as long as possible to address the issue. Word is out in the counterfeit community that it’s open season on Amazon.”[xxvii]

Moreover, the company’s internal operations show a disturbing disregard for counterfeit detection. Although Amazon has internal investigation teams within its warehouses, those employees are reported to be poorly trained. This is due, in part, to notoriously high turnover – rarely do employees last a year on Amazon’s payroll. Thus, those charged with detecting counterfeits are frequently new to the job and unqualified to identify a fake.[xxviii]

To add insult to injury, those investigators are not rewarded for spotting illegitimate products. To the contrary, employees earn rewards based on how fast they get through the inspection process. As a result, inspections are perfunctory, and counterfeits continually make their way to consumers.[xxix]

Brand Registration & Brand Gating

Recently, Amazon has begun offering brand registry and brand gating services. While the concept of brand registry remains somewhat elusive for many manufacturers, Amazon describes the service as “including proprietary text and image search, predictive automation based on your reports of suspected intellectual property rights violations, and increased authority over product listings with your brand name.”[xxx]

Additionally, brand registry allows manufacturers to “stamp” products as genuine. It is yet to be proven, however, whether consumers are aware of this stamp or even know what it indicates. The good news is the process is free to manufacturers and, while it takes about two weeks to fully register, it may be a good start eradicating counterfeit sales.

The principle requirement for participating in the registry is that the manufacturer hold valid, registered trademarks for its products. Importantly, brands are not required to participate in the registry process to complain to Amazon about counterfeits. Early indications, however, are that Amazon acts more quickly to shut down sellers of fake products if the underlying brand is registered. That, in and of itself, may justify the process.

Amazon’s newer service, brand gating, provides an additional layer of protection. Any manufacturer who participates in brand registry can apply for gating. Once a product is gated, the manufacturer must approve any seller who attempts to list that product for sale on Amazon. Additionally, Amazon may charge sellers of that brand up to $1,500 for the privilege of selling the brand’s products on its site.[xxxi]

Interestingly, it is nearly possible to find any information about brand gating from Amazon itself. Unlike the brand registry program, which is published in some detail on the company’s website, brand gating information is nowhere to be found. To aid Amazon in determining whether a brand should be gated, sellers should be prepared to provide a list of ASINs they want to have gated. They should also be patient – it can take four to five weeks to have a brand accepted into the gating program.

Nonetheless, the hope is that these two programs will dissuade counterfeiters and other TPRs from illegitimately peddling products within the marketplace. They are also intended to provide consumers with a sense that products purchased via Amazon are trustworthy. Again, however, it remains to be seen whether consumers have any level of awareness of these operational safeguards. The initial reports we’ve received from clients indicate that while Brand Registry and Gating are helpful, they are by no means a panacea for counterfeiting. Indeed, they uniformly need to employ addition methods to properly battle both counterfeiters and unauthorized sellers.

Opt-out Options

Finally, it should be noted that Amazon does allow sellers to opt out of commingling. One would think that would take care of the counterfeiting problem. In true Amazon fashion, however, the opt-out option comes with strings attached.

First, only those sellers who participate in FBA can choose to opt-out. Thus, commingling is unavailable to the throngs of sellers who operate under different Amazon shipping protocols. Additionally, Amazon charges a fee for the opt-out “service.” In other words, sellers can protect themselves from the risk of supplying counterfeits to consumers, but only for a price.[xxxii]

The good news in all this is that there are specific measures brands can take to combat the counterfeiting epidemic. Like any good wellness plan, the tactics include preventative measures, as well as strategies for putting a stop to counterfeiting once your brand has been targeted.

Preventative Measures

In a perfect world, brands would be able to shield their products from counterfeiting all together. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all method of building that shield. The following measures, however, add a significant layer of protection and should become a part of every brand’s intellectual property plan.

U.S. and Chinese Trademarks

These days, it is rare to come across a U.S. company that has not obtained domestic trademarks for all its relevant logos, designs, and slogans. This is important as a legal step, but it also provides marketplace assurances as well.

From a legal perspective, trademarks give companies the right to bring civil action against those who seek to infringe on their marks. They also help agencies like the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol identify and seize knock-offs, as well as prosecute the people behind the counterfeit products.

On the marketplace side, trademarks are equally important. As noted above, Amazon won’t even allow a company to participate in brand registry unless and until it holds valid trademarks. Even outside of brand registry or gating, it is hard to imagine Amazon taking any steps to stop alleged counterfeiters when the underlying brand doesn’t have appropriate intellectual property protections in place.

Domestic trademarks are easily understood. Yet perhaps equally important, given China’s dominance in the counterfeiting trade, are Chinese trademarks. Without them, it is nearly impossible to get Chinese customs authorities to do anything about fake products leaving its ports. Moreover, if your company wants to take legal action against a Chinese counterfeiter, that Chinese mark may be the only ticket into the courtroom.[xxxiii]

Importantly, trademarks obtained in China and other Asian countries operate differently than they do in the U.S. In Asia, the first person to obtain a mark is the one who gets carte blanche authority to exploit it. In America, by contrast, the first person to use the mark in commerce (regardless of whether it is registered with the USPTO) retains some legal protection over mark as against later users. Ultimately, this means that if your brand is trademarked only in the U.S., then later trademarked by someone else in China, Chinese authorities would honor the mark that is owned by a stranger to your company.

Additionally, Asian marketplaces that allow third party sellers (Alibaba, Aliexpress, and Taoboa among them), are much more receptive to removing alleged counterfeit products from their websites if the complainant holds both U.S. and Chinese marks. Likewise, customs agents and other law enforcement officials in China will only step in to protect brands that hold Chinese trademarks.

Inform the Public

One key strategy than many brands overlook is simply telling the public where products are made, who makes them, and who is authorized to sell them. Armed with this information, consumers are more likely to spot – and avoid – inferior knock-offs. Additionally, brands should publish their MSRPs and remind consumers that prices that appear too good to be true, probably are.

Fortunately, providing this information is relatively simple. An additional page on the company website can offer up everything the consumer needs to know to protect themselves from counterfeiters. Additionally, social media is a quick and easy way to alert consumers to counterfeits if they do start flooding the market.

Play the Amazon Game

Like it or not, Amazon continues to provide one of the world’s largest marketplaces. Not many brands are fortunate enough to be like Apple or Birkenstock – who can simply pull their products from the site without harming revenue. So, if you have to play in that venue, it helps to play by their rules.

With valid U.S. trademarks, virtually any brand can participate in Amazon’s Brand Registry 2.0. Additionally, even though Amazon does its best to hide the rules about gating, Brand Gating consultants exist to help navigate those waters. And, for a fee paid to Amazon, brands can pay to keep their products from being commingled.

Undeniably, employing Amazon’s safeguards can be costly for brands. Those costs, however, are a crucial first step in working with Amazon to control counterfeiters.

Educate Yourself on Doing Business in China

There are thousands of manufacturing plants in China, and thousands of U.S. companies who have done business with them over the years. If your company must manufacture in the PRC, it is wise to do your homework.

Find out which companies have a reputation for honesty, and which have been known to be the source of counterfeits. While your competitors may not offer up this critical information, there are plenty of companies that will.

Additionally, find a lawyer who specializes in Chinese law (many U.S. firms have offices in-country). Let the specialists negotiate contracts and do targeted research on manufacturers. Chinese companies frequently operate in “groups” and standard American Non-Disclosure Agreements may overlook this structure. Consequently, intellectual property frequently gets shared far beyond what U.S. companies intended.

Indeed, in China, the “NNN Agreement” is a much more effective tool than the NDA. “NNN” stands for Non-Disclosure, Non-Use, and Non-Circumvention. According to some experts in Chinese law, a properly-drafted NNN Agreement is vastly more important than other intellectual property protections Americans consider to be standard.[xxxiv]

E-Enforcement Measures

Of course, all the planning in the world won’t stop unscrupulous counterfeiters from ripping off a popular product. If the counterfeiting plague does hit your company, swift and effective E-Enforcement is the only way regain control.

Monitoring & Seller Intelligence

Every good E-Enforcement strategy begins with identifying potential counterfeiters through marketplace intelligence. Investigators will set up automated processes that scour the internet and marketplaces searching for evidence of counterfeiting. E-Enforcement professionals, in particular, use proprietary software and counterfeiting algorithms to root out counterfeiters across the globe. Among other things, these specialized programs locate products sold far below Minimum Advertised Pricing (“MAP”), name brands that are spelled slightly off from the original, logos that don’t quite match the original, bogus reviews and other proprietary indicators.

Additionally, investigators look for defined SKUs/ASINs, as well as the identity of sellers. This information provides E-Enforcement teams with a real-time snapshot of how each product is being sold online. Unfortunately, initial reports often reveal multiple counterfeiters that the underlying brand wasn’t even aware of yet.

Importantly, monitoring is not a one-time operation. Counterfeiters utilize sophisticated methods to hide their identity. By continually monitoring the internet for indicia of counterfeiting, making selective product purchases, and otherwise watching for those red flags, investigators are alerted on a 24-7 basis every time one of those red flags are waived.

Immediate Response

Once suspected counterfeiters are identified, the process of stopping them begins immediately. Typically, the first shot across the bow comes by way of an electronic cease and desist notice (“EC&D Notice”) sent directly to the seller via the online seller portal offered by the marketplace. Amazon, for example, offers a communication portal designed for consumers to communicate directly with sellers. E-Enforcement professionals use that vehicle to send EC&D and other notices.

If the seller is a small-time operator, or genuinely was unaware the products were not real, the EC&D Notice may be enough to scare them out of the marketplace. If not, however, E-Enforcement teams will quickly contact Amazon to notify the company of the suspected knock-offs. Even though Amazon’s internal investigations and response time is not ideal, the company will frequently shut down seller sites while the investigation is pending.

Product Buys

At the same time EC&D efforts are underway, E-Enforcement teams are also making tactical purchases of suspected counterfeit products. It is important that this step be consummated by E-Enforcement investigators for at least two reasons.

First, purchases made by a brand’s in-house personnel are simply too easy to trace. Counterfeiters are extremely careful about the addresses to which they’ll send bogus products. E-Enforcers are one step ahead of the game, however. They will use covert names, addresses, and payment methods that are virtually impossible to trace.

Perhaps more importantly, an experienced E-Enforcement team will very carefully execute the product purchase so that the chain of custody is preserved. In other words, they will follow precise steps to ensure that the phony product is admissible as evidence in court should it ever come to that.

Upon receiving the counterfeit goods, investigators will conduct side-by-side examinations of the counterfeits against original products. Results will be documented and preserved for evidentiary purposes. Additionally, identification of a confirmed counterfeit kicks off other processes.

The first step is sending immediate notification to the marketplace where the counterfeit was purchased. Amazon and other online shopping venues have specific web pages available for reporting purposes.[xxxv] E-Enforcers, working hand-in-hand with brands should specifically request that phony products be pulled from the marketplace and destroyed. If the marketplace refuses to comply, investigators can assist brands with additional investigations and legal actions that are likely to produce marketplace compliance.

Additionally, confirmed counterfeits should be submitted to U.S. Customs agents so they can keep an eye out for additional products entering the country. It does no good to shut down marketplace sellers if they have product lots continually streaming into the market.

Detailed Investigation

More often than not, an Amazon seller who is peddling counterfeits is not the ultimate source of the fake products. They may, however, know who is. Lamentably, these dodgy sellers will play all sorts of games to avoid enforcement efforts. In fact, even if they stopped sales in response to the initial EC&D Notice, they will often re-emerge within days using a new seller name.

Fortunately, these tactics are highly ineffective. After all, monitoring software doesn’t have an “off” button. Investigators are alerted the moment sellers reappear and take same-day steps to renew cease and desist demands. In some cases, however, sellers still are not intimidated. They grow comfortable behind the anonymity offered by the internet.

Their confidence is misplaced. If initial efforts are ignored, enforcement efforts are elevated. The next step in the process is to use Open Source Intelligence (“OSINT”), combined with proprietary database intelligence to identify the actual people sitting behind the computer. Within a relatively short period of time, E-Enforcers can find a seller’s name, physical address, telephone number, social security number, and relevant background information.

Once this information is in hand, notices are sent directly to the individuals running the illicit storefront. Certified cease and desist demands are delivered right to their home and/or business addresses. Within these demands, sellers are notified that they have between five and seven days to cease all counterfeit sales before more extreme measures are taken.

If the investigation reveals sellers or sources in China, this is the time to engage an attorney specializing in Chinese law. Not only can they facilitate civil legal steps that would normally be initiated in the United States, but they can also contact appropriate Chinese law enforcement agencies to coordinate investigations and, if warranted, product seizures.

Escalated Enforcement

The next step in the E-Enforcement process is a measure of last resort. Working in conjunction with in-house legal teams or outside law firms, enforcement professionals will prepare a draft trademark infringement/counterfeiting complaint against the sellers and any formal entities they operate.

The draft complaint is sent to the seller’s home address with a final notice. That notice requires immediate compliance with cease and desist demands and alerts the seller that failure to comply will leave no choice but to file suit.

Not many sellers or counterfeiters have the resources or desire to battle a popular brand in court. While large Chinese manufacturers may take solace in their remote location, communications from a Chinese law firm will often signal an end to their operations.

Separately, E-Enforcers will continue to work with appropriate law enforcement agencies. E-Enforcement teams typically have long-standing relationships with these agencies and can “talk the talk” in order to get formal investigations and product seizure efforts underway. This is an additional step in the E-Enforcement process that is unique to counterfeiting situations (most unauthorized seller operations don’t necessitate law enforcement measures). Product seizure or destruction are important steps, however, and warrant involvement of appropriate governmental agents.

This dualistic civil/criminal course creates the perfect opportunity to leverage a seller’s fear to obtain further information. Specifically, E-Enforcement teams will seek the identity of the manufacturer of the phony goods, as well as any wholesaler or distributor who participated in the sales channel.

Counterfeiters are shady operators, often involved with organized crime networks. They don’t give up easily and they know how to hide. Fortunately, specialized E-Enforcement professionals know their tricks, know their networks, and have the proprietary tools and expertise to take them down.

E-Enforce is a division of an internationally recognized investigation firm, Cyber Investigation Services. We have been providing litigation support and investigations for high profile cases and top law firms since 2010.

In 2012, we began combatting unauthorized sellers at the request of our client, Zo Skin Health. When we began that process, the company was overwhelmed with unauthorized retailers in online marketplaces. Today, they have virtually zero. They have also enjoyed exponential growth in that time.

In February 2017, we made our proprietary E-Enforcement system available commercially. We currently work with over 50 brands, including global companies, mid-sized operations, and small-but-growing manufacturers. Our clients represent the following industries:

  • Cosmetics
  • Direct sales
  • Paper products
  • Home repair
  • Clothing
  • Women’s accessories
  • Food supplements
  • Pet products
  • Sunglasses & accessories
  • Consumer electronics
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Purses and bags
  • Radar detectors
  • Cutlery
  • Skin care
  • Health products
  • Vitamins
  • Hair products

 

If you have questions about tackling counterfeits on Amazon, or would like additional information, contact the E-Enforce™ team at sales@e-enforce.com, or call us at (800) 892-0450. You can also follow us at e-enforceCIS@twitter.com, via the ECommerce Enforcement Group on LinkedIn, or visit E-Enforcement.com/services.

[1] For more information on Amazon’s Buy Box program, please ask to see our White Paper entitled The Buy Box Effect.

[i] https://tinyurl.com/y988jc5a

[ii] http://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/counterfeit-goods-are-a-460-billion-industry-and-most-are-bought-and-sold-online/

[iii] https://www.voanews.com/a/global-trend-in-counterfeiting-and-piracy/3783360.html

[iv] https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/national-media-release/cbp-ice-report-more-1-billion-intellectual-property-rights-seizures

[v] https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/assets/documents/2017-Jan/2015%20IPR%20Annual%20Statistics.pdf

[vi] https://www.cnbc.com/2016/07/08/amazons-chinese-counterfeit-problem-is-getting-worse.html

[vii] http://wwd.com/business-news/business-features/amazon-wal-mart-apple-biggest-e-commerce-retailers-10862796/

[viii] https://www.oecd.org/industry/global-trade-in-fake-goods-worth-nearly-half-a-trillion-dollars-a-year.htm

[ix] http://www.businessinsider.com/inside-fake-chinese-apple-store-shenzen-kunming-2015-9/#theres-an-area-to-try-out-new-apple-products-12

[x] http://www.jiesworld.com/international_corporations_in_china.htm

[xi] https://www.statisticbrain.com/china-manufacturing-statistics/

[xii] Id.

[xiii] https://www.chinalawblog.com/2016/02/china-nnn-agreements.html

[xiv] https://www.statista.com/statistics/259782/third-party-seller-share-of-amazon-platform/

[xv] https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2016/02/09/amazon-shipping-license-china-united-states-dragon-boat/80074510/

[xvi] https://www.cnbc.com/2016/07/08/amazons-chinese-counterfeit-problem-is-getting-worse.html

[xvii] Id.

[xviii] Id.

[xix] https://www.cnbc.com/2016/07/20/birkenstock-quits-amazon-in-us-after-counterfeit-surge.html

[xx] https://www.amazon.com/p/feature/98dnmkwyztuv8ur

[xxi] https://www.orderhive.com/understanding-commingled-inventory-requirements-pros-cons

[xxii] https://www.forbes.com/sites/wadeshepard/2017/01/12/why-amazon-is-losing-its-battle-against-chinese-counterfeiters/#2d6e93ea585c

[xxiii] https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1018724/000101872416000172/amzn-20151231x10k.htm,

http://www.annualreports.com/HostedData/AnnualReports/PDF/NASDAQ_AMZN_2016.pdf

[xxiv] https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/2017/05/15/amazons-path-to-1-trillion-in-annual-sales-what-it-means-for-e-commerce/

[xxv] https://www.forbes.com/sites/wadeshepard/2017/01/12/why-amazon-is-losing-its-battle-against-chinese-counterfeiters/#38060a66585c

[xxvi] https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201166010

[xxvii] https://www.cnbc.com/2016/07/08/amazons-chinese-counterfeit-problem-is-getting-worse.html

[xxviii] https://www.forbes.com/sites/wadeshepard/2017/01/12/why-amazon-is-losing-its-battle-against-chinese-counterfeiters/#2d6e93ea585c

[xxix] Id.

[xxx] https://services.amazon.com/brand-registry.html

[xxxi] https://www.channeladvisor.com/blog/brands/understanding-brand-gating-on-amazon-a-retailers-perspective/

[xxxii] https://www.inc.com/sonya-mann/amazon-counterfeits-no-starch.html

[xxxiii] https://www.chinalawblog.com/2013/04/stopping_china_counterfeiting.html

[xxxiv] https://www.chinalawblog.com/2016/02/china-nnn-agreements.html

[xxxv] https://www.amazon.com/report/infringement

 

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