The Counterfeit Crimes Unit (CCU) takes direct action against bad actors, either through civil lawsuits or criminal referrals to law enforcement agencies worldwide. Learn more about the CCU, and continue to visit this page for the latest news and updates.
May 22, 2023
Amazon and YETI continue the pursuit against counterfeiters with second round of lawsuits
Amazon's CCU and YETI Coolers jointly filed three lawsuits against multiple bad actors for attempting to sell counterfeit YETI products, including YETI’s popular Rambler mug, through four selling accounts in the Amazon store.
“YETI is committed to protecting our customers, our intellectual property rights, and our brand from anyone who profits from the sale of illicit products,” said Bryan Barksdale, YETI’s senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary. “We appreciate and support Amazon’s mission to hold counterfeiters accountable.”
YETI is enrolled in both Amazon Brand Registry and Project Zero, which helped to detect the attempted counterfeiting activity. Once confirmed, Amazon acted immediately to close the relevant selling accounts and refund impacted customers.
Amazon’s investigation uncovered that the fraudulent activity extended beyond the U.S., with one ring of bad actors believed to be operating in Türkiye. Amazon and YETI identified the fraud through the discovery of a falsified invoice submitted to Amazon, which claimed the products in question came from a supplier of authentic YETI products, but the products were actually counterfeit and supplied elsewhere.
“We are pleased to build on this ongoing partnership and collaboration with YETI to combat bad actors,” said Kebharu Smith, director of Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit. “This should serve as a message to all counterfeiters that no matter where you operate, regardless if it’s in the U.S. or abroad, we will hold you accountable for selling counterfeits in the Amazon store.”
The new lawsuits follow previous actions taken by YETI and Amazon in 2020, when the companies jointly filed a lawsuit against two U.S. defendants who operated in concert in their attempts to sell counterfeit YETI products.
Through its partnership with brands of all sizes, Amazon’s CCU is constantly innovating to identify and combat new approaches that counterfeiters take to try to deceive customers and evade the law. The CCU uses that intelligence to equip law enforcement to pursue bad actors. In 2022 alone, the CCU sued or referred for investigation of over 1,300 criminals in the U.S., the UK, the EU, and China.
The lawsuits were filed in the Federal District Court in the Western District of Washington under case numbers:
May 10, 2023
Amazon and Canon file joint lawsuit to protect customers and hold counterfeiters accountable
Amazon’s CCU and Canon Inc. have filed a joint lawsuit against a group of bad actors that attempted to advertise, market, and sell camera batteries and chargers in the Amazon store, with alleged infringement of Canon’s registered trademarks.
When Amazon detected the attempted abuse, the company worked with Canon to confirm the products in question were counterfeits and acted quickly to shut down the 29 selling accounts operated by the defendants.
March 30, 2023
Amazon targets multiple bad actors in novel lawsuits, further protecting selling partners from fraud
Amazon filed three lawsuits against bad actors that pretended to be legitimate copyright owners in an attempt to remove products from the Amazon Store.
For the first time, Amazon’s CCU filed lawsuits against multiple bad actors that, combined, submitted thousands of false copyright infringement claims against Amazon’s selling partners in an effort to have those sellers and their products removed from the Amazon store. These false claims attempted to reduce customer choice, harm Amazon’s selling partners, and damage the integrity of Amazon’s store.
March 2, 2023
Amazon continues to take action against fake review brokers
Amazon filed lawsuits against six defendants in new legal efforts to protect its customers and selling partners by stopping fake review brokers. In each lawsuit, the defendants sell fake review services to bad actors attempting to operate Amazon selling accounts. These fraudsters commit fraud by selling fake reviews, intentionally facilitate activities intended to deceive customers, and attempt to provide unfair competitive advantages over honest sellers in Amazon’s store.
Amazon’s advanced technology and expert investigators stop the vast majority of attempts to publish fake or abusive reviews before they impact customers and honest selling partners. As a result, more than 99% of the products viewed in the store contain only authentic reviews. These lawsuits complement Amazon’s efforts to prevent fake reviews by ensuring that the fraudsters behind them are held accountable and stopped for good
February 23, 2023
Amazon and Brother announce lawsuit to shut down Germany-based counterfeit ring
Amazon and Brother, the business technology solutions provider, announced legal action against eighteen suspected members of a Germany-based counterfeit ring (collectively, the “defendants”), who attempted to deceive customers by selling fake toner cartridges marketed as genuine products. This action is Amazon’s first civil lawsuit filed jointly with a brand against counterfeiters in Europe.
The lawsuit was filed with the Regional Court of Berlin and alleges the defendants colluded to sell fake products and evade Amazon and Brother’s systems. In addition to filing the lawsuit, the companies referred the alleged counterfeit ring to local police.