Counterfeits on Amazon: How Trademarks Can Help Combat Unauthorized Sellers

The rise of e-commerce platforms like Amazon has revolutionized the way we shop, offering convenience and access to a vast array of products. However, this convenience has also opened the floodgates for unauthorized sellers and counterfeit products. Counterfeit goods pose serious threats to consumers and legitimate businesses alike, eroding brand reputation and causing financial losses. In this article, we will explore the issue of counterfeits on Amazon and discuss how trademarks play a pivotal role in combating unauthorized sellers and protecting brands.


Igor Demcak

The Growing Problem of Counterfeits on Amazon

Amazon's enormous marketplace attracts millions of sellers, creating a diverse and vast array of products available to consumers worldwide. While this diversity is a boon for shoppers, it also creates opportunities for unscrupulous sellers to peddle counterfeit goods. Counterfeit products imitate established brands, often indistinguishable from the genuine items, leading to unsuspecting consumers purchasing subpar and potentially dangerous products.

The prevalence of counterfeits on Amazon has become a significant concern for consumers and brand owners alike. According to a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in 2020, 20 out of 47 products purchased from third-party sellers on Amazon were counterfeit, raising serious questions about the platform's ability to police and regulate unauthorized sellers.

The Role of Trademarks in Combating Counterfeits

Trademarks are valuable intellectual property assets that help consumers identify and distinguish the source of products or services. They are crucial in building brand reputation and consumer trust. Trademarks act as a shield against counterfeiters, giving brand owners the legal means to combat unauthorized sellers and protect their brand image

Amazon provides mechanisms for brand owners to report instances of trademark infringement. When a brand owner identifies a counterfeit listing, they can file a complaint through Amazon's reporting system. Amazon takes such complaints seriously and investigates the validity of the claim. If found in violation of trademark rights, Amazon can remove the infringing product listings promptly.

On top of that, Amazon offers a specialized program called the Amazon Brand Registry, which allows brand owners to enroll their registered trademarks and gain more control over their product listings. With brand registry enrollment, brand owners can access powerful tools to search and report suspected infringing products, making it easier to remove counterfeit listings from the marketplace.

Challenges in Combating Counterfeits on Amazon

While trademarks are essential tools in the fight against counterfeits, due to a number of reasons some challenges persist in addressing the issue effectively:

Scale and Volume: Amazon's sheer scale is both a blessing and a curse. With millions of products listed by numerous sellers, monitoring and identifying counterfeit items can be an overwhelming task. The vast volume of listings makes it difficult for Amazon to proactively identify and remove counterfeit products without the help of brand owners.

Sophisticated Counterfeiters: Counterfeiters have become increasingly sophisticated, mimicking genuine products with remarkable accuracy. They invest in replicating packaging, logos, and product designs, making it challenging for customers and even Amazon to distinguish the genuine from the fake

International Scope: The global nature of Amazon's marketplace means that counterfeit products can come from anywhere in the world. This complicates efforts to enforce intellectual property rights across different jurisdictions and cultures.

Best Practices to Combat Counterfeits on Amazon

1. Register Your Trademarks

The first step in combating counterfeits is to register trademarks with the relevant authorities. A registered trademark provides stronger legal protection and is a prerequisite for enrolling in Amazon's Brand Registry program.

2. Enroll in Amazon Brand Registry

By enrolling in Amazon's Brand Registry, brand owners gain access to powerful tools to monitor and enforce their intellectual property rights on the platform. Brand Registry enables brand owners to have greater control over their product listings, helping them maintain their brand's authenticity and integrity while reducing the risk of counterfeit goods entering the market.

3. Conduct Regular Monitoring

Brand owners should conduct regular monitoring of product listings on Amazon to detect potential counterfeits an timely enforce their rights. Automated monitoring tools and services can help scale this process.


Counterfeits on Amazon pose significant challenges for both consumers and brand owners. Unauthorized sellers take advantage of the platform's vast marketplace to deceive consumers and tarnish legitimate brands. However, trademarks remain powerful tools in combating counterfeits and protecting brand reputation. By registering trademarks, enrolling in Amazon's Brand Registry, and implementing proactive monitoring measures, brand owners can better safeguard their intellectual property rights and create a safer shopping environment for consumers. Additionally, collaboration with anti-counterfeiting solutions and continuous vigilance will be instrumental in preserving the integrity of e-commerce platforms and ensuring consumer trust in the digital marketplace.

Igor Demcak
Igor Demcak

Trademark Attorney

Founder & CEO of Trama

7 year experience in IP protection

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