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Amazon Has a New Tactic to Fight Counterfeits

A picture shows the logo of the online retailer Amazon dispalyed on computer screens in London on December 11, 2014. Online retail giant Amazon scored its first ever Golden Globe nominations -- a breakthrough in its bid to catch up with streaming pioneer Netflix. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)LEON NEAL AFP/Getty Images is testing a brand registry aimed at reassuring vendors on its Marketplace site that their intellectual property will be protected by the e-commerce behemoth.

The company, which presented the initiative at the Shoptalk conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday morning, will let any brand register its logo and other IP with Amazon starting next month, enabling Amazon to remove listings and perhaps even seller accounts caught selling contraband. There is also a mechanism for anyone to report counterfeit goods being listed.

The move is part of Amazon’s larger efforts to reassure prospective online vendors that their trademarks and other IP are safe and entice more vendors to its Marketplace. Vendors on Marketplace shipped as many items last year as Amazon did itself, showing how increasingly important third-party sellers are to Amazon and how profitable the Marketplace business is.

Peter Faricy, vice president of Amazon Marketplace, told Shoptalk that last year 100,000 sellers sold at least $100,000 worth of goods last years.

“This puts Amazon in the position where we can protect your protects across the Amazon Marketplace,” Faricy said.

The brand registry, first tested in 2016, will be free to North America vendors.

Amazon charges sellers a commission for third-party sales it facilitates and makes additional money selling fulfillment and advertising. Marketplace operators like Amazon, eBay and Alibaba have long faced the challenge of keep their e-commerce sites free of counterfeit goods.

Amazon is also offerings a program called “Transparency,” which lets vendors label packages with a code, enabling their customers cross-check their purchase against official information.