Protecting Your Brand: How to Remove Counterfeits from Online Marketplaces

  • Brand Protection
Protecting Your Brand: How to Remove Counterfeits from Online Marketplaces

Brands are often targeted by bad actors looking to make a quick profit by stealing intellectual property and exploiting consumers. Counterfeits, lookalikes, copycats, and other infringing products pose a serious threat to businesses on any marketplace – eroding carefully built reputations, putting consumers at risk, and damaging relations with legitimate distributors.

In this guide, we walk through the manual steps you can take to remove counterfeits and other infringements from both the most prominent global marketplaces and the regional powerhouses. But we also explain the most effective approach: using AI-fueled and expert-led brand protection solutions to save time and ensure a sustained reduction in infringement across marketplaces.

Step 1. Identify the type of infringement

Each marketplaces enforcement process and removal policy will vary depending on the type of infringement. Intellectual property rights are defined as legal rights that protect the ownership of artistic, literary, and other creative works.

Trademark infringement

A trademark signifies a unique term, logo, expression, design, or emblem utilized to indicate the origin of goods and services. Unauthorized utilization of a mark resembling yours constitutes trademark infringement, encompassing both visual and auditory similarities.

Counterfeiting is a specific type of trademark infringement whereby a bad actor replicates registered trademarks on their products to deceive customers, masquerading these imitations as genuine products from your brand.

Conversely, lookalikes and knock-off products intentionally exclude trademarks from their design and packaging. To address these illicit items, you can send enforcement notices citing copyright, design right, or patent infringement. Occasionally, it may be possible to cite trademark infringement if a seller has included your trademarks in either the listing description or their username.

Copyright protection extends to creators and authors of literary, visual, and multimedia creations, encompassing books, films, music, photographs, video games, and artistic works. Copyright infringement refers to the unauthorized utilization of safeguarded creative works.

Often, counterfeiters will incorporate your copyrighted visuals within their product listings to lend an air of legitimacy and mislead potential buyers.

Design right infringement

Design rights encompass exclusive legal safeguards for the physical appearance of products, spanning 3D forms, 2D patterns, and logos that denote a particular brand. While enforcing design rights can prove challenging based on the nature of the product, they can be effectively deployed to counter imitations present in various marketplaces.

Patent infringement

Patents provide protection for inventions, products, or industrial processes. Acquiring a patent confers the authority to prevent others from producing, using, vending, or importing your invention into a country for a span of up to 20 years. Patent infringement arises when an individual employs your invention without requisite permission.

Step 2. Gather intellectual property information and infringement evidence

Before filing an enforcement notice, you’ll need to gather the necessary legal information and supporting evidence. It’s useful to document this information in a spreadsheet or similar tool for reporting and analysis purposes – and many platforms enable you to include multiple listings in a single notice.

Authorization to enforce and proof of identity

If you’re an agent representing the business itself, you may be required to supply a certification of incorporation.

If you’re an agent enforcing on behalf of the intellectual property owner, you may be asked to provide an authorization document (physical or digitally signed).

Evidence of infringement

Most platforms will ask for the following details: a link to the infringing listing, a screenshot (in case the seller makes changes), an ID number (if relevant), price, and seller information.

Intellectual property details

You’ll be asked to provide all relevant information such as the IP owner, trademark registration number, patent number, design right registration number, and regions where the IP is registered.

Step 3. Notify the platform

Once you’ve discovered a counterfeit, lookalike, or an otherwise infringing marketplace listing, it’s essential that you quickly notify the platform citing the relevant intellectual property rights (IPR) that have been infringed.

While each platform’s enforcement process will differ, all are bound by law to act once notified by a IPR owner or their representative. See below for each platform’s process for reporting infringements:

Reporting infringements on Amazon

Method 1: Enforce via Amazon Brand Registry

Amazon Brand Registry is a program designed to provide brand owners with enhanced protection for their trademarks by providing tools to report infringements. Members can also engage with engage with Amazon’s internal investigation team to expedite the removal of counterfeit listings.

To apply for Amazon Brand Registry, you’ll need:

  • A registered or pending trademark that appears on your goods or packaging
  • An image of the product with your brand visible
  • A list of product categories where you want to list your products

Once enrolled in Amazon’s Brand Registry, you can file a notice with the Report a Violation tool found via Seller Central.

To submit a report:

  1. Search for infringing content by using text or image-based search tools that scan ASINs, offers, and images
  2. Identify potential infringements and select from search results
  3. Specify type of infringement (trademark, copyright, patent) from dropdown menu
  4. For trademark infringement, detail misuse on product page or involvement of counterfeit products. Provide details and examples if trademark isn’t registered.
  5. For copyright infringement, note unauthorized content or images on product pages or packaging. If you have not registered your copyright, provide links to authorized examples or detailed descriptions.
  6. In patent infringement cases, specify violations of design or utility patents
  7. Provide accurate contact info and consider a test purchase with valid Order ID for support
  8. When reporting in other Amazon marketplaces, select appropriate jurisdiction. Ensure intellectual property is registered in same jurisdiction for reports requiring registration numbers.

Once you have been enrolled with Amazon Brand Registry for 6 months (and have a report acceptance rate of 90%+) you can apply to join Amazon Project Zero, a self-service tool that offers automated removal of counterfeit listings. Project Zero combines automated protections with predictive analytics, aiming to prevent fake products from appearing on the platform in the first place.

Method 2: Enforce via the Intellectual Property Report Form

If you are not signed up to the Amazon Brand Registry, you can still report infringing listings via the Intellectual Property Report Form.

To submit a report:

  1. Log in to your Amazon account, or create a new account
  2. Navigate to the Intellectual Property Report Form
    1. Note: each region has a separate Report Infringement page which corresponds with the regional domain (, .com,, etc.)
  3. Declare authorization to enforce by indicating where you are the rights holder or an authorized agent
  4. Select the infringement type
    1. Note: to report a counterfeit product, select ‘Trademark concerns’ and then select ‘the product is counterfeit’
  5. Provide product information, such as the name of your brand/ mark/ protected element and the trademark registration/ application number
  6. [For counterfeit products only] Provide details about the counterfeit product
    1. Provide the ASIN or product URLs for the listing
    1. Select whether it is all sellers on an ASIN offering fakes or certain sellers on legitimate ASINs
  7. Review and submit the report

See our full guide to removing counterfeits from Amazon >

Reporting infringements on eBay

Method 1: Enforce via VeRO

eBay’s Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) Program enables intellectual property rights holders and their authorized representatives to report eBay listings that infringe those rights. eBay accepts removal requests for trademark infringements (such as counterfeits, lookalikes, and replicas) and copyright infringements.

To report a listing that infringes a trademark, you’ll need to submit a Notice of Claimed Infringement (NOCI) via email [[email protected]] or fax [(801) 757-9521].

For copyright infringements, you can send a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notification to the eBay designated agent via mail, email [[email protected]], or fax [(801) 757-9521]

Further details on VeRO and eBay policies can be found here.

Method 2: Enforce product via listing page

If you are not enrolled within VeRO, you can enforce via the listing page instead.

To report a listing:

  1. Go to the eBay listing page for the item in question
  2. Click on “Report item” or the flag icon (located below the seller’s information)
  3. Select the reason for the report (e.g., “Counterfeit item”)
  4. Provide a detailed explanation of why you believe the item is counterfeit, attaching the evidence you’ve collected.

It’s important to note that this method should not be used as a permanent remedy to remove counterfeits, as it is not scalable and may delay response times.

Note: consumers can also report a product via the listing page. That’s why it’s important to inform your customers about threat of counterfeits and how they can report a suspected counterfeit listing.

See our full guide to removing counterfeits from eBay >

Reporting infringements on Alibaba

To remove infringements from any of Alibaba’s online marketplaces (including Alibaba, Taobao, and Tmall) you’ll need to enroll in the Alibaba IP Protection Platform.

To create an account and upload your intellectual property documentation, you’ll need to visit the Alibaba Group IP Platform portal.

Report the infringement through the Protection Platform Portal

After you’ve verified your brand, you can submit trademark, copyright, or other IPR complaints against infringing products on Alibaba’s platforms. The following outlines the steps for submitting an infringement complaint:

  1. Choose the relevant platform (e.g.,,,, Tmall Global,, AliExpress, or Lazada)
  2. Select the relevant IPR type and choose the related IPR in your account
  3. Decide on the enforcement type, either “product listing” or “storefront”
    1. Note: for storefront enforcements on Alibaba and AliExpress, you’ll need to notify via email
  4. Select the reason for enforcement
  5. Add URLs of infringing products or search for infringing listings using keywords (based on the group site)
  6. Provide further evidence of infringement, such as a description, a photo comparison to the genuine product, or supporting documentation
  7. Submit the complaint

Reporting infringements on Etsy

Method 1: Enforce via the Etsy Reporting Portal

Brand owners can use the Etsy Reporting Portal to notify the platform about infringing listings. To sign up for the portal, you must either be the property owner or authorized to report on their behalf. Once you’ve registered, you’ll be able to add intellectual property such as trademarks. Note: if you’re acting on behalf of the rights holder, you’ll need to upload a letter of authorization.

To submit a report:

  1. Go to the Reports tab
  2. If it’s your first report, select “Get started”; otherwise, choose “Create a report”
  3. Choose the property owner and begin the report
  4. Provide a report name for reference
  5. Select the intellectual property owner from the dropdown menu
  6. Choose the relevant property for the report
  7. Add listings to the report by searching Etsy or uploading listing IDs or URLs
  8. Review the report and submit it

Method 2: Enforce via email

If you aren’t signed up to the Etsy Reporting Portal, you can still take action by submitting a notice of infringement via email to [email protected].

You’ll need to include:

  1. A signature from an authorized individual, which can be provided electronically
  2. Detailed identification of the trademark or other IPR that has been infringed
  3. Specific information about the location of the infringing material on Etsy, including URLs for listings
  4. Contact details for both the intellectual property owner and the individual notifier, including name, address, phone number, and email address
  5. A statement affirming your sincere belief that the material is not authorized by the intellectual property owner, its agent, or the law.
  6. An assertion of the accuracy of the information provided

Step 4. Await the marketplace’s response

Ensure that you regularly check the progress of the enforcement via the platform’s brand protection portal. If you enforced outside of a dedicated portal, you’ll need to monitor the inbox of the email address used. Some platforms give sellers the ability to respond to your complaints with counter-notifications; if you fail to promptly or reject these responses, your takedown request may be discarded, resulting in the listing being restored.

As the steps above highlight, this is a lengthy, manual process that will not scale if you are facing hundreds, if not thousands, of infringing listings. Brands that face constant attack by bad actors will often take a different approach.

To remove high volumes of infringements and prevent consumers from being defrauded on marketplaces, you should harness automated technology and a team of dedicated experts.

Leverage AI, expertise, and platform relationships to tackle counterfeits at scale

Regardless of whether your focus is on social media, marketplaces, websites, app stores, or other channels, Corsearch provides comprehensive brand protection solutions that save time and deliver impact.

By choosing Corsearch, you can do away with time-draining manual reviews. Instead, our machine-learning technology automatically matches features, images, and logos on product listings and posts. Utilizing our AI-assisted technology, you can identify, prioritize, and remove high-risk threats swiftly. Harness our real-time dashboards to help your team demonstrate the value of your program and drive broader business success.

How does Corsearch differ from other brand protection vendors? Corsearch operates as a partner, not a vendor. We offer a winning combination of market-leading technology and experts which operate as an extension of your team. Furthermore, you’ll be able to take advantage of our strong relationship with platforms. We have key initiatives and a dedicated team in place to champion the protection and push platforms to continue to do better.

Corsearch’s Global Relations Team

Corsearch’s Global Platform Relations team has developed robust working relationships with marketplaces, social media platforms, and other intermediaries across the global. This allows us to expedite the removal of infringements and push for proactive measures that deliver for brand owners.

Regular face-to-face meetings and cadence with platforms

The Global Platform Relations team has regular face-to-face meetings with platforms to highlight any concerns from brand owners. The team also uses this opportunity to share best practices, discuss recent trends, and suggest optimizations for platform tools and policies – with the goal of safeguarding both brands and consumers.

Escalation channels

Should any issues remain unresolved after we have submitted a takedown notice, our team has the ability to escalate with the platform to expedite enforcement action.

Dedicated brand protection managers

Platforms such as Alibaba allocate dedicated brand protection managers as a point of contact to help address concerns and provide feedback from brands.

Speak with a brand protection expert

Utilize the hybrid intelligence of advanced AI and industry experts to swiftly remove counterfeits and other threats found on marketplaces.

Speak with one of our experts to learn how you can achieve global visibility of threats across all channels and demonstrate tangible impact through our expert-led enforcement.

Additional resources

Learn how to protect your brand on marketplaces using Corsearch:

Stop Counterfeits on Amazon
Stop Counterfeits on eBay
Stop Counterfeits on Alibaba
Stop Counterfeits on Facebook Marketplace

Learn how to protect consumers from the dangers of:

Counterfeit Luxury Products
Counterfeit Cosmetics
Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals
Counterfeit Car Parts
Counterfeit Alcohol

Learn how to remove counterfeits from online platforms:

How to Remove Counterfeits from Amazon 
How to Remove Counterfeits from eBay
How to Remove Counterfeits from Alibaba
How to Remove Counterfeits from Facebook
How to Remove Counterfeits from X (Formerly Twitter)