13 Oct Amazon Brand Registry: Protecting Registered Trademarks
Do you Sell on the Amazon.com?
If you have a seller account on Amazon and own a registered trademark with the USPTO, you can (and should!) sign up for the Amazon Brand Registry Service. It launched in May 2017 and is quickly gaining traction.
This service provides registered trademark owners a more efficient – and far simpler – way of dealing with the vast amount of trademark infringement that occurs on the platform. Once on the Amazon Brand Registry, sellers can police their trademarks through Amazon-provided text searching and infringement reporting tools. Once a legitimate infringement claim has been received by Amazon, they’ll promptly review and take the appropriate actions to remove the infringing listing (and suspend the infringers marketplace account). This system also provides registered sellers with more say in whether the infringer gets their marketplace rights permanently suspended by Amazon, or whether they can resume selling products once the infringing material is taken down. Registered sellers on the Brand Registry can also appoint “agents” (often their attorney of record) to act on their behalf within the system. This is AWESOME! (Right?) So, you ask, what’s the catch?
First Catch: Only owners of registered trademarks can sign up for Brand Registry. If you don’t have a registered trademark and are selling your products on Amazon, this should serve as good motivation to pursue a registration with the USPTO. If, however, you sell products on Amazon and do not have a registered trademark, Amazon still has a way for you to report infringement, but response times are typically slower and results less effective than using the Brand Registry service.
Second Catch: The Brand Registry is for word marks only. Even if you have registered your brand’s logo or design with the USPTO, Amazon is not currently accepting them into their Brand Registry system. You must still police design marks through a normal infringement report to Amazon (or the via a legal proceeding).
It turns out the catches really aren’t that bad, so it actually is pretty awesome.
So Far, So Great
We’ve had numerous clients who signed up for this service and thus far our experience has been positive. There is no hiding that trademark infringement is a significant issue within the Amazon marketplace. Fortunately, via the Brand Registry, Amazon is showing their willingness to ease seller’s concerns and take expeditious action to get infringers out of the marketplace. Bottom line, if you sell on Amazon and have a registered trademark, this service is certainly worth exploring.