Have Amazon merchants changed the product details of your products? Do you suspect that some retailers are counterfeiting your goods? Then it’s time to register your brand or trademark with Amazon.
Brand registration provides you with options to address common issues. Amazon offers this function free of charge and the registration process is straightforward, so the advantages clearly outweigh the disadvantages.
How do I register a trademark on Amazon?
Registering a trademark on Amazon is easy for authorised persons and does not incur any additional costs. The brand owner can thus participate in data proofing and take action against counterfeiting.
Amazon deliberately keeps its brand registry programme as low-threshold as possible. After all, a well-maintained brand presence also benefits the customers and thus Amazon itself.
To register an already registered brand with the mail-order giant, you only need to follow the following five steps:
- Check whether you have authorisation
- Log in to Amazon’s brand registry (Link to UK)
- Register the brand on Amazon
- Amazon checks the details and sends a code
- Return the code to activate the Amazon brand registration
Checking whether an authorisation exists
Before you register your trademark on Amazon, you should check whether a trademark exists as defined by Amazon. The good news is that if you have trademark rights, the chances are very high.
The prerequisite is that the trademark is officially registered with a state patent office. In the UK, the Intellectual Property Office are responsible.
If you have a registered trademark in your country, you can also register your brand on Amazon. Amazon will consider it sufficient if your application has been received by the patent office and is being examined; you do not have to show that your registration has been completed.
There is another exception to the actively registered trademark: if you have submitted your trademark via the Amazon IP Accelerator, you can already use it on Amazon beforehand.
In addition, you can only claim your brand in countries where it is officially registered and which are supported by Amazon in its Brand Registry Programme. These are the state trademark offices of the following countries (click to access website)
- United Kingdom
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
In order for the trademark to be assigned to you without problems, the brand text must be identical to the brand name in the application. If it is an image-based trademark, you must also upload a copy of the image that corresponds to the trademark entry.
However, you do not need to worry that your claim will only apply to that exact wording or logo. Amazon will subsequently assign all possible spellings to your trademark, so that inaccuracies will have no consequences for retailers or customers.
For the application, however, you should check very carefully whether you have specified everything exactly as you did in the application for the office.
Important: The brand that you are registering must also be visible on your products or packaging.
The application for Amazon trademark registration
Only the trademark owner may file the application. It is only possible to add other users, such as authorised representatives, to the account afterwards. Anyone who has not yet used a vendor or seller account can create a free account. As an active vendor or seller, you log in with your usual login data. Brand registration is stored as a function in the account.
The brand registry
The Amazon brand registry is easy to use if you have all the data ready. Amazon only asks for three pieces of information:
- The brand name that belongs to your actively registered brand.
- The associated trademark registration number from your patent office
- A list of the product categories in which you want your brand to appear.
If you want to protect your trademark in more than one country, you must also indicate this here with the corresponding trademark registration numbers.
Now it is Amazon’s turn
Amazon will then check the application and determine whether you are actually the rights holder of the trademark. The company also identifies a contact person who “meets the requirements” and sends them a confirmation code.
This sounds complicated, but in many cases, it is self-explanatory: often, it is not the trademark owners themselves who register their trademark with Amazon, but rather a law firm. If you have commissioned a legal representative, they will also receive the verification code.
To complete the registration of the trademark on Amazon, you or your law firm must send this code back to Amazon. Afterwards, you can directly access the Amazon trademark registration with all its features.
The shortcut: Amazon IP Accelerator
Amazon launched the Intellectual Property Accelerator to make it easier for small and medium-sized businesses to register and protect their trademark. Amazon connects companies free of charge with suitable law firms that specialise in patent matters.
So when you hire a law firm through this programme to protect your trademark rights, Amazon sees it as equivalent to registering a trademark with the appropriate offices.
Registering your own trademark with Amazon: A no-brainer?
If you have registered your trademark with one of the supported patent offices, you should also use your trademark on Amazon in any case. There are no additional costs on the part of Amazon. In return, however, you have much more control over what happens with your trademark at Germany’s largest shipping service provider.
Since Amazon is now used by many customers as a kind of product search engine, it is in your interests to ensure that the data relating to your products is correct and that no counterfeits appear. You can achieve this with minimal work via the Amazon brand registration and its functions.
Thanks to the Amazon Brand Registry, you have higher-level editing rights for your products. If another retailer changes something in the product details, you will be informed and can reset these changes. You also get access to functions that make it much easier for you to track down copyright infringements on images or products.
Last but not least, you can use BrandStores and A+ content to describe your products and portfolio in a more appealing way. In this way, you let your products shine and take care of SEO at the same time. Some of these options are also open to vendors and sellers who have not registered their brand.
There are no real disadvantages to registering your trademark. Some companies would like to have more influence when merchants offer products below the price limit or against the company’s wishes. However, this is not the goal of the Amazon Brand Registry.
Amazon declares war on counterfeits – and not just at the Brand Registry
Product counterfeiting and plagiarism are a recurring problem for companies and the retail giant itself – despite Amazon’s brand registry. That is why Amazon has launched other projects to help stem the tide of counterfeiting.
With the Amazon Transparency Programme, transparency codes are added under each product and scanned before shipping. This is how the company wants to prevent counterfeits. In the USA, even the customer can scan the product with the Transparency app and thus help to detect counterfeits.
Another programme is Amazon Project Zero. Brand owners can more easily discover counterfeits and have them removed by Amazon via self-service. An algorithm learns from each tip and is supposed to detect infringements itself in the future. This programme also works with serial codes that are uniquely assigned to a product by the company and make counterfeits identifiable.
Registering your brand on Amazon requires little effort and is free of charge. In return, you get access to some useful functions. They not only help you in the fight against counterfeiting but also enable you to present your products in an appealing way. Registration is also possible without a specialised law firm; however, you will need to have registered trademark rights.