The online marketplace can seem a bit like the Wild West when it comes to protecting your trademark rights. That is the case whether you’re talking about Amazon, Etsy, eBay, or other sites. But Amazon is taking steps to help business owners protect their trademarks through its Amazon Brand Registry program. The program has become very important for sellers, and there are plenty of reasons why sellers should look into joining this program.
Amazon Brand Registry Perks
Several groups of sellers can apply to enroll in the program. These include product manufacturers, brand owners, and exclusive distributors of products. So what are the benefits of joining the Amazon Brand Registry? Well, there are several great reasons to join:
- The Amazon Brand Registry makes it much easier for you to police trademark infringements. Of course, everyone is familiar with the old Amazon takedown notice system. Think of the Brand Registry as a supercharged version, where membership gives you a “fast pass” to have infringers shut down more quickly. Because you have gone through and registered, Amazon is more trusting that you are the actual owner of your brand.
- Joining also gives you more control over the content in your product listings. This includes more customization in terms of titles, details, and images. And Amazon will assign you a product ID. That ID can be used in place of more traditional product codes, such as UPCs.
- Potential customers will see your store as more “legitimate.” Amazon Brand Registry membership means that you have gone through their process and aren’t just some fly-by-night operation.
Amazon receives a ton of trademark infringement takedown notices every day. The Brand Registry will help store owners by expediting their infringement claims. It might even help to reduce the amount of bogus trademark infringement claims that Amazon receives and processes. And it should help to preserve the reputation of brand owners as they can more easily deal with knockoffs. This all sounds great, but how do you join the program?
Trademark Registration Requirement
In order to join the Amazon Brand Registry, you must first have an active trademark registration. Although it costs time and money to obtain a trademark registration, this requirement makes sense. A seller may own trademark rights in common law, but that can be difficult to prove. It is much easier to refer to a federal trademark registration, which does not have the same geographic limitations as a trademark in common law, either.
To apply to the Amazon Brand Registry, you will submit information about your brand, and show that you are the actual brand owner. This evidence could include photos of the product with the brand trademark, the product packaging with trademark, or images from a website showing the trademark. These things are very similar to the specimen that you would submit with a trademark application.
Additionally, you will need to provide Amazon with a trademark registration for your brand that shows that you are its proper owner. The registration must be for a standard character mark, not a logo or design mark. Also, the registration must be on the Principal Register. The Supplemental Register is not sufficient here. The trademark registration process can be lengthy and difficult. You will almost certainly want to work with an experienced trademark attorney to make sure that you have a viable application. This will help you avoid unnecessary delays or challenges in that process, which will help speed up the Amazon Brand Registry process for you, as well.
Do You Need a Trademark Registration for the Amazon Brand Registry?
While there are plenty of reasons that you should register your trademark aside from Amazon, I can assist you with completing this step for enrollment. If you would like to discuss a potential registration please call me at (314) 479-3668, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or complete the contact form found on this page to schedule your free initial consultation today. I look forward to speaking with you.