In brief: Amazon's latest initiative aims to stamp out counterfeit products on its marketplace. Announced on Thursday, Project Zero is a three-pronged approach that empowers both Amazon and the brands it works with to help curb fakes.

It starts with automated protections. Partners provide Amazon with their trademarks, logos and other information about their brand. Using machine learning, Amazon then scans over five billion product listing updates daily to look for suspected counterfeits.

Nobody knows more about a product than the brand itself. That's why Amazon is now providing select brands with the ability to remove counterfeit listings directly. Previously, brands had to file a report with Amazon which would then be investigated; only then would action be taken.

Last but certainly not least is a new product serialization program. Participating brands can add unique serial numbers to their products during manufacturing. Each time a serialized product is ordered, Amazon can scan and verify its authenticity. This service prevents counterfeits from ever reaching customers.

Amazon in its FAQ notes that participating brands must maintain a high bar for accuracy in order to maintain their Project Zero privileges.

"We have a number of processes in place to promote accuracy, including required training as part of Project Zero enrollment and ongoing monitoring to prevent misuse of our tools."

Project Zero is launching as an invite-only experience in the US. Brands can join for free although the product serialization service does come at a cost - around $0.01 to $0.05 per unit, based on volume. Those interested in participating can join the waitlist for consideration.

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