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The Complete Guide to Protecting Your Trademark on Amazon

The Complete Guide to Protecting Your Trademark on Amazon

The Complete Guide to Protecting Your Trademark on Amazon

06 Oct 2021
Blog. IP Litigation, Blog. Trademark Search and Clearance
For many businesses, selling their products on Amazon is a great way to boost sales and to get their brand in front of a wider audience. However, the added exposure is not without its risks. Increasingly, bad actors are targeting popular products on Amazon and selling counterfeit or knock-off versions of them or otherwise infringing the trademarks associated with those products. To help sellers protect their trademark rights and to maintain customers’ trust, Amazon launched the current version of its Brand Registry program in 2017. This registry aims to give sellers an added layer of protection for their trademarks on top of the protection provided through a national trademark registration. This post will cover what you need to know about taking advantage of the Amazon Brand Registry.

Can anyone enroll in Amazon Brand Registry?

No. Amazon Brand Registry is for the exclusive use of sellers who have a registered trademark or a pending application to register their trademark in certain prescribed countries. More details on this are set out below. In addition, Amazon requires that Brand Registry applications are submitted directly by the trademark owner. If a trademark agent or lawyer is acting on your behalf, you will need to create the account and add them on as an additional user.

What are the benefits of enrolling in Amazon Brand Registry for trademark owners?

Amazon Brand Registry is essentially an authentication and enforcement tool. For customers it signals that the branded products they are buying are legitimate. For sellers, enrolling in the program verifies that they are the owner of the trademark(s) appearing on the products or their packaging. Equally or more importantly, it expedites requests to get Amazon to take action against infringers of the trademarks by taking down inaccurate listings and blocking suspected infringers from selling on the platform. Once enrolled in Brand Registry, sellers also have access to Amazon’s automated search tools to locate and remove infringing products. They can also customize their product listings, and access customer analytics.

What do I need to apply for Amazon Brand Registry?

To complete an Amazon Brand Registry application, you’ll need to provide the following information:
  • A registered trademark or a pending trademark application number. To enroll in Amazon Brand Registry you’ll need to provide a pending application or registration number for the trademark(s) you wish to have included on the Brand Registry for each country where you want to protect your trademark rights through Amazon. Currently, Amazon only protects trademarks that have been registered or (in some cases) are the subject of pending applications in the following jurisdictions: Canada, the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, India, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Singapore, Spain, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Poland, Egypt, the European Union, and the United Arab Emirates. Amazon also accepts trademarks registered with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO).
  • Trademark must be a word mark or design mark Amazon only accepts two types of trademarks: word marks (text based) and design marks (logos). In addition, the brand you select for your Amazon Brand Registry application must match the trademark that appears in the national registration (or pending application) exactly. For word marks, this means the text of your trademark will be the subject of your protected brand. For design marks, you’ll be asked to submit a copy of the image that appears on your national trademark registration or pending application. Your trademark must also appear on the products you sell or on their packaging.
  • Specify the product categories your brand will be listed in You’ll need to provide a list of product categories (e.g. Consumer Electronics, Personal Care, Sporting Goods) where your brand will be listed. These should match the classes of goods and services covered in in your trademark application or registration, as closely as possible.

What happens after I submit my application?

After you submit your application, Amazon will review the information you provided against the applicable national trademarks registry. In Canada, the trademarks registry is administered by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO). In the U.S. it is administered by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). After the check is complete, Amazon will send a verification code to the owner listed on the trademark application or registration. The trademark owner must then send back the verification code to Amazon. Amazon uses this process to authenticate that the person who submitted the Amazon Brand Registry application and the trademark owner are the same individual.

How long does it take to enroll in Amazon Brand Registry?

On average, applications are reviewed by Amazon within two weeks.

How much does it cost to enroll in Amazon Brand Registry?

There is no cost to enroll in Amazon Brand Registry.

What if someone is using my trademark to sell products on Amazon?

If you have a Brand Registry account and you find someone is infringing your trademark, you can report a violation through the Report a Violation (RAV) tool. Amazon will then review the report and take any number of actions against an infringer, which might includ warning the alleged infringer or even blocking them from selling on Amazon.

Can I report intellectual property rights infringements if I do not have a registration on Amazon Brand Registry?

If you are not enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry, you can still report alleged infringement of your trademarks or copyrights by submitting a Report Infringement Form to Amazon from their website. However, you are unlikely to get as swift a response.

How long does it take to get a trademark registration if I don’t already have one?

The length of time it takes to obtain a trademark registration varies widely depending on the jurisdiction. In Canada, it is currently taking more than two years before CIPO will even formally examine an application. In the U.S., it is currently taking six to 12 months in most cases. However, as discussed above, at least in Canada and the U.S., you can now apply for Amazon Brand Registry as soon as you have a pending trademark application with CIPO or the USPTO.

How much does it cost to register a trademark?

The cost of registering a trademark will include professional fees (if a trademark professional is engaged to help you with the process) and the government fees in the jurisdiction where registration is sought. If you want to register your trademark in the U.S. and Canada, you will need to file separate applications in each country. Professional fees to cover all anticipated steps in a typical trademark application in Canada or the U.S., from filing through registration, will typically range from about $1300 to $2000. The government fees will depend on the jurisdiction and, in most cases, on the number of “classes” of goods and/or services covered in the application. For example, in Canada, the government fee for a single class of goods or services is $336.60 and is $102 for each additional class. In the U.S., the government fee is $250 USD per class of goods and services for the type of application format that is typically used.

Conclusion

Registering a trademark on the Amazon Brand Registry is a fast, free and effective tool for combatting the sale of infringing products on Amazon. It is particularly useful for trademark owners who have applied to register their trademarks on a national registry but have yet to obtain a trademark registration since registration on the Amazon Brand Registry takes only a couple of weeks. However, it is not a substitute for trademark registration since, as noted above, you must have at least filed a trademark application in one of the eligible jurisdictions (including Canada and the U.S.) in order to apply for protection of that trademark on the Amazon Brand Registry.