You Need To Register Your Trademarks To Safely Sell On Amazon

Last month, we wrote about the Amazon Brand Registry again. The tool, which was created to protect trademarked products from knock-offs, has only recently begun to come into its own as a service that every Amazon seller should be paying attention to. It was created in response to criticism that Amazon is not doing enough to protect against counterfeits, and has just begun to live up to its purpose.

Our previous Blog was focused on how sellers have to register with the Amazon Brand Registry in order to be protected. This time, we’re going to focus on a specific aspect of signing up for the service: registering your trademarks.

A trademark is any word, phrase, symbol, design, or combination of the above that directly identifies your goods or services. It can be your company’s name, your logo, the name or design or even shape of your product. A trademark is something that makes your company unique and allows your customers to differentiate you from your competitors.

In order to retain sole ownership rights over a trademark, you must successfully register it with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This process typically takes about a year to complete and necessitates the assistance of a lawyer. However, registering your trademark only gives you the legal right to defend your use of your own trademark. Unlike a patent, you don’t have to register your trademark in order to use it. For this reason, plenty of companies are relying on trademarks that aren’t registered or legally protected at all.

Here’s an example of how this all shakes out. We recently worked with a popular company that had been using a trademark since the ‘90’s without ever registering it. They went to sign up for the Amazon Brand Registry in order to get their competitors off of the online storefront. However, they were rejected by Amazon for not having registered their trademark. At this point, they had to begin the registration process and sort through everyone else who had used the trademark after them but filed earlier with the USPTO.

This stance means that there is now a legal imperative to register your trademark if you want to sell your product on Amazon. As the leading storefront in the world, we’re pretty sure that you do want to sell your product there and get rid of any knock-offs who pop up to steal your thunder. So register your trademarks today!

Although the Amazon Brand Registry’s policies can seem somewhat obscure, signing up for it pays off. Once you are registered with the Amazon Brand Registry, you can submit simple complaints against knock-offs and Amazon will police the marketplace for you. This means that you don’t have to hire a lawyer to file a complaint with the Brand Registry every single time, you can just do it internally at Amazon.

This reliance on trademarks and focus on Intellectual Property makes Amazon very powerful for American sellers. When they have registered their trademarks, American sellers tend to dominate the market domestically and overseas. American sellers who have registered their trademarks with the USPTO can open the golden gates to success with the Amazon Brand Registry.

At Aftermarket Law, we have been working with the Amazon Brand Registry for years, learning the ins and outs of it. If you are ready to register your trademarks with the USPTO and the Amazon Brand Registry on your path to global success, contact Aftermarket Law today! We have a sophisticated understanding of the automotive aftermarket industry, and we are here to help!

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