Drones, Alexa, and exponential growth are a few things that come to mind when Amazon is the topic of discussion. The company had humble beginnings as a bookstore, but no one would call it a mere book store these days. Of course you can still buy a book on Amazon, you can stream music and movies, and you can purchase your favorite brand – be it shoes, clothes, jewelry… the list is nearly endless. But not for long.
In a world full of brand copycats and knock-offs, Amazon has released what we’re calling Brand Registry 2.0 to fight these counterfeiters. In the past, companies selling on Amazon had only to provide a website with images of their products and packaging bearing the brand names. The latest revision of the Brand Registry rules state that a federal trademark registration is now a requirement.
Federal trademark registrations are issued from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO. On average, achieving registration takes approximately 6 months, but can take years if the USPTO Examiner assigned to review the application finds a similar trademark.
Protecting your brand name with a trademark registration is always a smart idea, and the new Brand Registry is in alignment. According to Amazon, even previously listed sellers will need to re-enroll in the new Brand Registry to gain access to the latest features; which means they will also be required to show proof of their federal trademark registration.
Not sure whether Amazon’s Brand Registry 2.0 is worth it? Let’s explore the benefits and eligibility requirements.
Benefits – Why join the Brand Registry?
- Brand Protection. Amazon’s Brand Registry is designed to verify you (and only you) as the authorized seller of your brand. Since Amazon recognizes you as the true brand owner, the process for removing counterfeit products is expedited. This means more cha-ching in your pocket, and none for the copycats and counterfeits.
- Brand Control. With registration, brand owners are granted more control over product titles, details and images. You can more easily “brand” your brand. This enhances your consumers’ immersion into your branding, thus resulting in increased brand awareness.
- Brand Exclusivity. Only 3 distinct categories of sellers can apply for Brand Registry. They are (i) manufacturers and producers who sell their own branded products, (ii) private label brand owners, and (iii) distributors and resellers with express permission from the brand owner. Sellers without a federal trademark registration or an express authorization from a brand owner will be excluded, and will be left unprotected.
- Enhanced Logistics. As a brand owner, you will receive Amazon-issued product IDs instead of having to use UPCs and EANs. This will ultimately lower expenses and reduce matching errors during listing. Again, more cha-ching.
Application Requirements for Amazon’s Brand Registry – The Short List:
- Product & Packaging Images. Images of your product(s) and packaging with branding visibly printed/displayed. Quick Tip: when entering your brand name, be sure to enter it exactly as it appears on your products and packaging.
- Website Link. A link to your brand’s website containing images of the products and brand name.
- Proof of Trademark. You will need to submit the 7 digit U.S. Trademark Registration for the brand name. Unfortunately, pending trademark applications are not accepted.
- A Key Attribute/Unique Identifier (such as Manufacturer Part Number, Model Number, Catalog Number, or Style Number). Quick Tip: choose this wisely as it is an arduous process to change your unique identifier in the future.
- If you are a distributor or reseller, you will need to submit formal authorization from the trademark owner, usually provided as an Authorization Letter, Co-Marketing Agreement, or License Agreement. Quick Tip: for protection, you should also formalize your business arrangement with the brand owner, using an Authorized Distributor Contract, or by including relevant language in your Co-Marketing Agreement.
Do you Need a Trademark for Your Brand?
Amazon is stepping up to help safeguard your brand, if you are willing to protect it. Becoming part of the new Brand Registry could be critical to the success of your business. Keep in mind that having a federal trademark registration helps you not just on Amazon, but in any U.S. consumer marketplace.
To help you reap the benefits of trademark registration and Brand Registry, SnyderLAW offers multiple flat fee trademark packages to best suit your needs. Mention this article when you call (484-801-0021) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org), and you will receive $100.00 off the package of your choice.