The White House issued a presidential memorandum on April 3 aimed at those who traffic in counterfeit or pirated goods. According to Peter Navarro, director of the White House National Trade Council, the memo aims to target third-party online marketplaces, including Amazon, eBay and Alibaba.
He added: “This is a warning shot across the bow that it is your job to police these matters, and if you won’t clean it up the government will.”
The goal of the memorandum is to focus on suppliers and intermediaries who coordinate the sale of illegal goods. The memo is also looking for more data related to the supply chain. Some retailers have already started examining the issue, but Amazon has made the earliest splash by announcing its Project Zero plan in February. This initiative utilizes machine learning to identify fake or pirated products sold on its web site, and it also offers an option that allows brands to remove listings of illegal goods.
Homeland Security takes on this challenging task
The memo calls upon the Department of Homeland Security to work with the Commerce Department, the attorney general and other appropriate agencies to gather recommendations and information within 210 days (October 30). Sources for the information will be the aforementioned agencies as well as intellectual rights holders, third-party intermediaries and others involved in intellectual property issues.
It is unclear at this time how the information gathering will be done for this report, but experts advise interested parties to monitor the Department of Homeland Security’s website. It is also helpful to contact knowledgeable intellectual property attorneys. These professionals will be monitoring the situation closely and will have insight and information once the report is sent to the White House.