Why and How Brands Selling on Amazon Should Enroll in Amazon Brand Registry

(Originally published in the Dallas Business Journal, October 2, 2019.)

If you are selling products on or through Amazon, this article will discuss why you should consider enrolling your brand name(s) in Amazon Brand Registry, and provide information about how to do so.

Why you should enroll in Amazon Brand Registry

There are a number of benefits to brand owners enrolling in Amazon Brand Registry, which was created to help build and maintain customer trust and ensure customers that they are purchasing authentic goods. Ultimately, Brand Registry helps you:

  1. Ensure that your brand is accurately represented on Amazon.
  2. Monitor how third parties are using or misusing your brand on Amazon (including searches for text, as well as images of your products and logos).
  3. Find and report potential infringers and counterfeits [1]

As a brand owner, you have a duty to police your marks to protect against infringement and act reasonably in protecting your trademark rights to avoid diminishing the value of your brand, damaging your goodwill and weakening (or even losing) your mark…and Amazon Brand Registry is another tool in your arsenal to help you do that.

Although reporting alleged infringement of your brand or other violations of Amazon’s Intellectual Property (IP) policy to Amazon using the Brand Registry Report a Violation tool is not the only mechanism to enforce your rights (and you still may need to bring legal action against the alleged infringer to address infringement, especially outside of the Amazon environment), it can be an effective and much less expensive, expedited way to quickly address issues of concern on Amazon’s platform.

For example, Amazon can remove a product listing and even suspend an account due to violations of laws and/or Amazon’s policies. And, although you don’t have to have an Amazon Brand Registry user account to report alleged intellectual property infringements, it’s no doubt easier for Amazon to take action on behalf of those who have enrolled their brand(s) in the Brand Registry than for those who use the publicly available form to report. And the Brand Registry and other systems Amazon has put in place appear to be making a difference, as Amazon claims that 99% of all Amazon page views by Amazon customers landed on pages that did not receive a notice of potential infringement.

How to enroll in Amazon Brand Registry

In order to enroll your brand(s) in Amazon Brand Registry, you will need:

  1. An active registered trademark for your brand(s) in each country [2] where you wish to enroll (e.g., the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)). The mark(s) may be text-only or image-based (e.g., logo, stylized font, etc.) and needs to appear on your products or packaging. You will need to provide the following information to Amazon:
  • Your brand name that has an active registered trademark.
  • The registration number for the trademark.
  • A list of product categories (e.g., apparel, sporting goods, electronics) in which your brand should be listed.
  • A list of countries where your brand’s products are manufactured and distributed.

Note: It can take anywhere from six months to a year or more to obtain a trademark registration. Although you may be able file a trademark application yourself, trademark law and prosecution of trademark applications can be difficult to navigate. Therefore, it is advisable to work with a trademark attorney to obtain registration of your mark(s) in the United States and other countries.

2. An existing Amazon Vendor Central or Seller Central account, or create a new Amazon account for free, to sign in to Amazon Brand Registry. Using the same username and password that you use to sign in to Vendor Central or Seller Central to create your Brand Registry account ensures you get full access to the features and benefits from vendor and seller services linked to your Brand Registry account.

3. Verification that you are the rights owner or the authorized agent for the trademark.

  • Once you submit the information to Amazon Brand Registry, Amazon will attempt to reach out to a contact associated with the trademark registration you provided to Amazon (e.g., the Attorney of Record with the USPTO for the trademark registration).
  • Amazon will send a verification code to this contact, and the contact will need to provide the code to you, and you will then need to provide the code to Amazon to complete the enrolment process.
  • Once Amazon has verified the information you provided, you will get access to Amazon Brand Registry’s benefits and features that help you protect your brand.

Once you’ve enrolled your first brand with Amazon Brand Registry, you can:

  1. Add additional active trademark registrations for your already enrolled brand(s) to your Brand Registry account by logging into your account and visiting the “Update your brand profile” section via the Brand Registry Support page;
  2. Enroll additional brands at any time by clicking on Enroll a new brand from the home page of your account.
  3. Submit a request to the Brand Registry Support team to add additional representatives of that brand, including agents (e.g., trademark attorneys). All users will need to have their own Brand Registry login credentials.

Note: If you enrolled a brand in Brand Registry prior to April 30, 2017 and your brand meets eligibility requirements, you need to re-enroll your brand in the Brand Registry.

[1] Amazon also has a program called Transparency — an item-level tracing service that helps brands proactively identify and prevent counterfeits from reaching customers.

[2] Amazon currently only accepts trademark registrations that have been issued by government trademark offices in the United States, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Australia, India, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and the United Arab Emirates.

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