How registering in Amazon Brand Registry keeps counterfeits at bay

Amazon Brand Registry has been there for quite some time but in several other forms.  This has undergone a drastic revamping in the later part of 2017.

In the era of internet, brand names are more prone to hijacks and deliberate confusion created by counterfeiters than it is in the offline marketplace. Almost every e-commerce company has its intellectual property protection policy in place to offer protection to its vendors and affiliates, but often face great challenges when it comes to cases of parallel importation and infringement. Amazon is not an exception to it, and sellers who sell their products on Amazon also encounter a plethora of issues that pose significant challenges in sales and marketing. Issues are plenty, ranging from misleading sales description to counterfeit products.  Thankfully, Amazon has come out with a viable policy to help sellers safeguard their rights over the brand names.  The program has been launched by Amazon to help brands protect their product listings and offer additional tools to optimize those listings for success. At the present time, any brand with a registered trademark can enroll in Amazon Brand Registry, while there are some conditions associated with it.

Process of Enrollment

The process of enrollment is quite simple. To start with you will have to provide Amazon with the trademark registration number of your brand, list of product categories, website, sources where you manufacture your products and distribute them and other information such as images, logos, photographs of product, description, technical information, including patent number, etc.  Once you provide these information to Amazon, you will have to go through a simple self-explanatory wizard to submit these aforesaid information, after which a verification code will be sent to the firm that filed your trademark. Once it submitted, the Amazon will send the verification code to your attorney on record on the trademark application.  You can get in touch with your attorney to get the code from him/her and provide it to Amazon to finish the enrollment.

Eligibility of Brands for Enrollment

Currently, brands must have a valid and subsisting registered trade mark to be eligible to join the Amazon Brand Registry. The trade mark must be a “standard character mark” i.e. a word mark, a device mark, or a combined illustration with words, numbers, or letters and the trade mark must match the brand name printed on products and/or packaging.  Amazon at this time only accepts active word, device or composite marks that have been issued by United StatesCanadaMexicoIndiaAustraliaJapanFranceGermanyItalySpain, the United Kingdom, and the European Union.

Benefits of Enrollment

1. Enrollment provides registered brands with the ability to add Enhanced Brand Content to their listings, offering consumers an opportunity to see more details about the product.

2. Shorter advertisement approval times for registered, enrolled brand names, mostly within 24 hours. Amendments to can be made to ads without pausing the campaign, allowing sellers much more flexibility.

3. Brand Registry offers protection and peace of mind.

4. Faster action against reports of infringement against counterfeit and unauthorized sellers

However, we observe that only a handful of sellers are enrolling themselves with the Brand Registry.  On the other hand, this move will push more business entities to adopt coined and distinct names rather than using composite and label marks that are deceptively confusing with the existing marks, as Amazon does not allow certain composite marks to be enrolled in their Brand Registry.