Amazon Acquires ProjectZero.com for Counterfeit Initiative

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This morning, I saw several “Project Zero” related domain names registered by Amazon. I saw that they company registered domain names like AmazonProject-0.com, AmazonProject0.com, Project-0.net, and quite a few other similar “Project Zero” domain names of various lengths. I searched Twitter to see if I could find anything about Amazon’s Project Zero, and I saw this tweet from The Verge with more information about it:

After reading the article, the first thing I did was check to see if Amazon was able to get the ProjectZero.com domain name. The other domain names I saw registered to Amazon were easy pick ups because they were previously unregistered. ProjectZero.com, on the other hand, was a pretty solid domain name that I was sure had been registered a long time ago (1999, in fact).

A quick check confirmed that Amazon was able to acquire ProjectZero.com in advance of the launch. When you visit ProjectZero.com, you are forwarded to the Project Zero page within Amazon’s website. On that page, it concisely explains the intent of the Project Zero initiative: “Project Zero leverages the combined strengths of Amazon and brands to drive counterfeits to zero.

Prior to the acquisition, ProjectZero.com had been registered to a California entity called Project Zero. Using DomainTools’ Whois History tool, it looks like the domain name was acquired sometime in late 2019 or earlier this year. In November of 2018, the domain name Whois record became private at GoDaddy, and I suspect this was when the acquisition took place. ProjectZero.com later transferred to MarkMonitor’s privacy service (DNStination Inc.) in February of 2019.

I reached out to the prior registrant of ProjectZero.com via text message to see if he could comment on the sale. He had an @projectzero.com email address, which will likely no longer work after the acquisition. If he is willing to comment, I will update the article with the information he shares.

Even though Amazon is forwarding ProjectZero.com rather than using it for an independent website, I think it was a wise buy, especially for a counterfeit-defeating program.

1 COMMENT

  1. This appears to be a rebranding of the Amazon “Transparency” program in which manufacturers partner with Amazon to fight counterfeiting by adding unique serialized barcodes to each legitimate product manufactured. Then those barcodes are registered with Amazon and scanned upon entry into the Amazon warehouses. Any products with that UPC which are submitted for sale through Amazon which do not carry that barcode are presumed to be counterfeit, and are rejected and are not allowed to be sold through the platform. We were accepted into the early program beta last year because of extensive problems that we’ve had with counterfeit and unauthorized versions being made of our products. Amazon’s eventual hope is that the barcodes will be adopted universally, at all other large retail stores, outside of Amazon.

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