On Tuesday, Amazon.com Inc. said its Counterfeit Crimes Unit, or CCU, worked with Ferragamo to report a counterfeiter of Ferragamo’s signature Gancini belt to the Market Supervision and Administration, or MSA, authorities located in Yiwu City, Zhejiang Province, China. This led to a raid of the criminal’s warehouse, seizing hundreds of counterfeit belts and buckle accessories.
“Amazon is grateful for the collaboration from Ferragamo and the MSA in protecting customers from these counterfeit products,” said Kebharu Smith, head of Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit. “This should serve as a reminder that bad actors will be held accountable, as Amazon collaborates with both brands and law enforcement agencies around the world to stop inauthentic products from being sold across the retail industry.”
This is part of Amazon and Ferragamo’s worldwide investigative efforts. As reported, last year the companies jointly filed two lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington against four individuals and three entities for counterfeiting the Florence-based company’s products, alleging the defendants conspired to use Ferragamo’s registered trademarks without authorization.
Amazon in 2019 alone invested more than $500 million to protect customers and brands from fraud and abuse, including counterfeits, through robust seller vetting, for example, as well as advanced machine-learning based technologies, and brand protection tools such as Project Zero, Brand Registry and Transparency. As a result, Amazon claims that 99.9 percent of all products viewed by customers on its platform have not received a valid counterfeit complaint.
Amazon has filed a series of lawsuits against counterfeiters and previous joint lawsuits included those with Valentino, cosmetics brand KF Beauty, family travel accessory brand JL Childress and Yeti coolers.
Over the years, Ferragamo has firmly implemented a series of offline and online anticounterfeiting measures. In 2020, its online monitoring activities enabled the brand to intercept, block and remove 3 million illicit profiles from the main social media platforms worldwide and about 94,000 counterfeit products were blocked and removed from online auction sites.
In 2021, more than 22,000 infringing products and pieces of illicit content were removed from social media platforms and more than 130,000 listings related to counterfeit products were identified and removed from marketplace service providers.
Last year, Ferragamo carried out regular controls on physical stores launching several in- and out-of-court administrative and criminal proceedings, with a specific focus on China. Thanks to the increasing cooperation from local authorities, almost 450,000 counterfeit products were seized worldwide.
Ferragamo has filed actions against hundreds of illegal websites through civil proceedings in New York federal court, and was recently awarded $2.8 million in damages.
As reported, in 2018, the New York Southern District Court awarded the luxury company compensation of $60 million, delivering an injunction against 60 unidentified holders of illegal online profiles that were selling counterfeit Ferragamo products. The court transferred to Ferragamo around 150 domain names that were infringing upon the brand’s rights.
Amazon prohibits infringing and counterfeit products in its store and, in 2020, it invested more than $700 million and employed more than 10,000 people to protect its store from fraud, counterfeit, and abuse. In 2020, only 6 percent of attempted new seller account registrations passed Amazon’s verification processes and listed products for sale.
Amazon launched the CCU in 2020 to help hold counterfeiters accountable through the courts and law enforcement. This global team — which is made up of former federal prosecutors, former law enforcement agents, experienced investigators and data analysts — pursues targets around the globe. Amazon’s CCU supports law enforcement efforts to bring justice to those attempting to sell counterfeits to protect customers, brands, Amazon’s stores, and the retail industry.