The New Frontier of the Amazon Brand Registry

As a global distributor of goods and products, Amazon is a uniquely positioned company in the intellectual property world. Given the enormous volume of products and sellers on its marketplace, Amazon has decided to create its own Brand Registry.

With the creation of the Brand Registry, in order to sell products on Amazon under a mark or brand, the seller must register the mark with Amazon’s Brand Registry. To be eligible to register the mark with the Brand Registry, the seller must meet Amazon’s eligibility requirements. Sellers in the United States must have a live registration for the mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) on its principal register. Amazon will not negotiate disputes between companies who claim ownership of a confusingly similar mark, instead, Amazon will defer to the registrations as documented with the USPTO. In creating its Brand Registry in this fashion, Amazon has, in effect, created a small independent nation state on its platform.

Common law rights in marks or brands, while incredibly valuable in litigation and in other circumstances, are not sufficient to meet Amazon’s Brand Registry eligibility requirements. With this new Brand Registry system in place on Amazon, companies who hope to sell products on Amazon should seek registration of their marks on the principal register of the USPTO as soon as possible to avoid any unnecessary delays in selling products on the platform. 

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