Amazon has announced the new Anti-Counterfeiting Exchange (ACX), an industry collaboration designed to make it safer to shop online and more difficult for counterfeiters to move among different stores to attempt to sell their counterfeit goods.
According to the company, ACX allows participating stores to share information about confirmed counterfeiters who attempted to use their services to try to sell counterfeit products. By sharing information about these counterfeiters, ACX participants can identify and stop perpetrators more quickly than they would in the absence of this collaborative data sharing. In accordance with industry standards and best practices, an independent third-party provides anonymized access for participants to share and receive information.
ACX has enabled regular information sharing and participants use this information in their ongoing efforts to detect and address counterfeiting, improve their individual risk evaluation systems, and make more robust referrals to law enforcement so bad actors can be held accountable. Through ACX, Amazon has already detected hundreds of matching accounts where the same counterfeiter tried to create selling accounts on Amazon and at least one other store operator. The power of ACX, according to the company, comes from the fact that as soon as one of the participating stores catches a counterfeiter and shares the account information through the exchange, all the other stores participating in ACX can know about that counterfeiter and stop them in their store. Each participant makes its own independent decisions about whether and how to use the information in ACX.
“We want our customers to have confidence in their shopping experience and for brands to know they are protected from counterfeits,” said Dharmesh Mehta, Amazon’s vice president of Selling Partner Services. “As we laid out in our blueprint for private and public sector partnership to stop counterfeiters, we think it is critical to share information about confirmed counterfeiters to help the entire industry stop these criminals earlier. By leading the way in creating an industry-wide solution to share information about known counterfeiters, we are excited to have helped improve the industry’s collective ability to fight counterfeit crime, providing consumers and rights owners with greater peace of mind.”
“The IPR Center applauds the foundational efforts made by the Anti-Counterfeiting Exchange, and we’re pleased to have been a part of its creation,” said James Mancuso, director of the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center. “This is an opening salvo in a much larger battle against counterfeiters and criminal organizations, and the effort will need even greater participation, from all industries and sectors, to reach its full potential. We look forward to supporting this momentous effort with all of the tools that the IPR Center brings to bear.”
Daniel Castro, director of the Center for Data Innovation, reiterated the importance of this type of voluntary collaboration: “Active cooperation among private sector firms is key to combating illicit counterfeiting networks. In 2020, the Department of Homeland Security called on private sector stakeholders to take a more active role in detecting and preventing the trafficking of counterfeit goods. It’s encouraging to see Amazon and other stores answer this call by creating the Anti-Counterfeiting Exchange.”
Amazon says it has been working with other members of ACX to pilot the exchange, ensure the appropriate guardrails, and design a scalable way to broaden participation to additional companies interested in stopping counterfeiters. Private sector partnerships around data sharing are crucial to combating counterfeiting. Amazon invites other retailers and marketplace service providers to join the Anti-Counterfeiting Exchange and collaborate with the founding members to further strengthen the industry’s collective efforts against counterfeiters.