Why You Should Be Using Amazon’s Brand Registry

Back in May 2017, Amazon quietly unveiled their own Amazon Brand Registry. The program was created in response to frequent accusations from brands claiming that the marketplace website was not doing enough to protect against counterfeit and rip-off products. We wrote about the Brand Registry in October 2020 as it began to pick up steam, calling it a “new frontier.” Since then, it has become clear that not enough sellers are aware of its potential – and that they should be.

The Amazon Brand Registry was created to help protect trademarks. If you are selling a product and have it trademarked with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, you have the legal right to shut down anyone else using your trademark. If you don’t have your trademarks registered, you should.

In order to register with the program, you simply provide Amazon with your trademark number. The Brand Registry then registers with Amazon that you own your trademark. Ownership is a binary system with the Amazon Brand Registry, where you either own the trademark or you don’t. Once you have registered yours, Amazon knows you own it and will dismiss or rule against any competitors using it.

Some sellers have been hesitant about registering with the Amazon Brand Registry because they believe you are giving some ownership rights to Amazon. You are not. You are simply registering your pre-existing trademark ownership with them. As any sellers can tell you, if you lose time on Amazon, you are potentially losing millions of dollars and introducing your potential customers to your competitors and imitators.

We bring up losing time because it stands as a potential consequence of ignoring the Amazon Brand Registry. Even if you own your trademark, Amazon can take down your product for infringing on someone else’s trademark if you haven’t registered it with the Amazon Brand Registry.

Case in point: we recently handled an issue with a steering wheel company that had the same name as a completely unrelated spa. They both owned the trademark to their name, since the USPTO stops identical trademarks only based on the likelihood of confusion. Someone looking to buy a steering wheel is probably not going to be confused and buy beauty products instead. The Amazon Brand Registry did not recognize such nuance, however. The steering wheel company got their products taken down for infringing on the trademark of the spa company, which had registered with the Amazon Brand Registry. The Registry did this on its own, without any prompt from the spa company. We were eventually able to resolve the issue, but the steering wheel company would not have lost time on the store if they had previously registered with the Amazon Brand Registry.

If you have a trademark and haven’t registered it with the Amazon Brand Registry, you are running the risk of being taken down and leaving money on the table. For help registering with, defending against, or handling any other issues relating to the Amazon Brand Registry, contact Aftermarket Law today! If you made it, we protect it!

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